Quebec premier announces measures in wake of police monitoring of reporters

‘Immediate measures’ introduced after police probe into Montreal journalists
WATCH ABOVE: Quebec premier Philippe Couillard announced immediate measures will be implemented following revelations that Montreal police allegedly spied on several journalists. As Global's Raquel Fletcher reports, the news was condemned unanimously by members of the National Assembly.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is forming a committee of experts to look into the surveillance of journalists in the wake of revelations police kept tabs on a Montreal reporter’s iPhone.

The group will include a judge, a police official and a member of the media.

READ MORE: 3 other journalists allegedly under surveillance by Montreal police

It is expected to present its report to the Quebec justice minister by next spring.

Couillard also announced it will be harder for police to obtain a court-issued warrant to monitor members of the media.

“That will elevate, I would say the threshold of difficulty to obtain a warrant for members of the media as the same level as what we have now for judges, lawyers and members of the National Assembly,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: La Presse says Montreal police placed journalist Patrick Lagacé’s phone under surveillance

The premier said the Public Security Department will investigate procedures at the three major police forces in Quebec – the provincial police and the Montreal and Quebec City forces.

READ MORE: Tracking of journalist highlights need for guidance to courts: privacy czar

The measures come a day after it emerged Montreal police had obtained at least 24 surveillance warrants for the iPhone belonging to La Presse columnist Patrick Lagacé at the request of the special investigations unit that looks into crime within the police force.