Francis Lankin named Ontario Press Council chairwoman

Replaces deceased former chair Robert Elgie

By Frank Touby –

Francis Lankin Appointed Ontario Press Council chairwoman

Francis Lankin
Appointed Ontario Press Council chairwoman

Order of Canada recipient Frances Lankin P.C., has been selected chairwoman of the Ontario Press Council. She replaces Robert Elgie, who died April 3 at age 84. Lankin, a former Ontario cabinet minister, was selected to lead the largest of five press councils in Canada at a June meeting of the Council. The Bulletin is a member of that council.

“Because we are in the initial stages of considering the establishment of a national media council to replace the provincial bodies, this is a critical time for press councils. It is extremely important an independent body exists to oversee public complaints and ensure ethics are encouraged and acceptable journalistic practices are followed. I am honored to be selected,” said Lankin, who lives near North Bay.

Lankin is the sixth chair since the Ontario Press Council was founded in 1972. She recently co-authored a provincial report recommending a revamp of Ontario’s social assistance programs. She joined the press council in 2012 and served on the executive committee. In 2009, she was also appointed by Prime Minister Harper to the Queen’s Privy Council and a Member of the Security Intelligence Review Committee, which reviews the operation of the Canadian Intelligence Security Intelligence Service. As well, she is a member of the boards for Metrolinx, the Ontario Hospitals Association, the Literary Review of Canada and the Institute Of Corporate Directors (ICD).

After serving as the MPP for the Toronto riding of Beaches-East York for 11 years, Lankin was selected president and CEO of the Toronto United Way, where she served for more than a decade.

The Ontario Press Council was formed to serve as a medium between the public and the press, to defend freedom of speech and freedom of the press and to adjudicate unresolved complaints over the conduct and content of more than 150 member news organizations. The Council is an independent body with representatives from a broad cross-section of the public and active journalists and its decisions, which encourage the highest ethical and professional standards for journalists, are reached through consensus of its voluntary members.