If some members of the Ontario Legislative Press Gallery have their way, the membership privileges of The Interim may be revoked.

The Interim has been an associate member of the Press Gallery since June 1987.  At that time, according to then president of the Gallery, Dan Rath, [The Interim] “meets the requirements for membership outlined in the Gallery’s constitution.”

A year later, that no longer seems to be the case.  At a Press Gallery meeting on April 5, pro-abortion Toronto Star reporter Bill Walker expressed his “concerns about whether a particular associate member, The Interim, is violating membership rules.”  The newspaper, he complained, “advocates a specific viewpoint.”  It is guilty of “lobbying,” he charged.

Some other members shared his concern and asked the Gallery’s constitutional committee to see whether the constitution could be amended to allow for the “revocation of membership.”

At least one member of the Press Gallery has spoken up and defended the right of The Interim to its membership.  Derek Nelson, Queen’s Park reporter for the Thomas News Service exposed the attack on press freedom in a June 15 column appropriately titled, “Jackboot journalists storm Queen’s Park.”  Nelson said the incident reminded him of the “famous apologia made by a Protestant churchman in Nazi Germany.  The storm-troopers came first for the Jews, and he did not protest because it did not affect him.

“Then they came for the Communists, and he was silent again.

“Then they stomped on the right-to-lifers, and no one said anything…”

It is to be hoped that the Ontario Press Gallery will not stoop to the same tactics.