North

Deal reached in CBC-Yukon News court case

A CBC News reporter in Whitehorse will not be forced to disclose her sources for an investigative report, under an agreement announced on Monday.
CBC News reporter Nancy Thomson won't have to disclose her sources from 2004 report, after network and newspaper reach an agreement. 1:58

A CBC News reporter in Whitehorse will not be forced to disclose her sources for an investigative report, under an agreement announced on Monday.

The Yukon Supreme Court confirmed on Monday that it agreed to the deal struck over the weekend by lawyers for the public broadcaster and the Yukon News.

Lawyers for the CBC and the Yukon News reached an agreement in Yukon Supreme Court on Monday that means reporter Nancy Thomson will not have to disclose her sources for a 2004 investigative report. ((CBC))

The newspaper wanted CBC reporter Nancy Thomson to reveal her confidential sources used for an investigative radio series that aired in 2004.

"We were able to assist, I think, in identifying ways in which the appropriate facts could be put before the court without having to imperil Nancy Thomson or her sources," Fred Kozak, an Edmonton-based media lawyer representing the CBC, said outside court.

Thomson had spoken with 11 sources for her report on alcohol and prescription drug abuse in Watson Lake, a town of about 1,500 in southern Yukon.

Thomson reported at the time that Watson Lake's sole doctor was also the town's only pharmacist.

Newspaper sued for defamation

The Yukon News wrote an editorial that praised Thomson's series and made its own claims about the doctor, who then sued the newspaper for defamation.

The newspaper had wanted Thomson to disclose her sources as part of its defence in the defamation suit.

"It's very good," Thomson said outside court after the agreement was reached. "I mean, I would be hard-pressed to do my job at all if I was not able to protect sources," .

The Yukon News will have to pay the CBC's legal fees associated with the case, according to the agreement.

With files from the CBC's Cheryl Kawaja