Canadian mayor threatens media blackout after confrontation with Toronto Star reporter

As the rest of the world celebrated World Press Freedom Day, Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, Canada, called for police to file charges against Toronto Sun reporter Daniel Dale, and demanded that Dale be removed from the city hall beat, saying he would not speak with any members of the media if Dale were around, reported CTV News and the National Post.

The journalist has accused the mayor of charging at him with his fists raised during a confrontation at the mayor's home the night of Wednesday, May 2, according to the Windsor Star. The journalist, who had been taking photos of a piece of city land -- neighboring the mayor's property -- that the mayor wanted to buy, was cornered by the mayor, dropped his smartphone and digital recorder and ran scared, yelling out for help, Dale wrote in a first-person account in the Toronto Star. The confrontation occurred on public land, although Ford has accused Dale of trespassing and spying.

This is just the latest altercation between the Toronto mayor and the media, explained the Globe and Mail. The National Post added that the Toronto Star said it will not remove Dale from his beat, prompting the mayor to extend his threat, saying he will not speak with the media if any reporter from the Star -- not just Dale -- is present.

The mayor's attempt to block journalists' access at the local level comes as the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) group issued a failing grade for information access at the federal level. The CJFE freedom of expression report card gave the Canadian federal government an "F" for the third straight year.