B.C. Civil Liberties Association v. Regina 2012
From Ad IDEM / CMLA
This judgment arose from an application by the BC Civil Liberties Association and the media to obtain access to the information used to obtain a search warrant.
The Provincial Court of British Columbia rejected a bald assertion by the RCMP that parts of the Information to Obtain had to remain sealed because their release would impact an ongoing investigation.
The information to obtain search warrant (ITO) in this case refers to three separate police investigations, two by the RCMP and one by the New Westminster Police Department.
The first, an investigation by Coquitlam RCMP into the personal life of an officer, Cpl. Brown, to determine whether disciplinary proceedings should be taken against him.
The second, an investigation by the RCMP E Division Serious Crimes Unit into the alleged crime of defamatory libel of Cpl Brown by Grant Wakefield.
The third, an investigation by the New Westminster Police Department into an allegation of threats of death or bodily harm made against Grant Wakefield.
The issue in this application was to determine how much editing of the ITO the court should approve.
At para. 43 Justice Gulbransen states:
...there is no evidence that public access to this information will compromise the nature and extent of the investigation or that it will compromise the effectiveness of police investigative techniques.
Gulbransen J. goes on to state at para 44:
I find...that the respondent has not established that access to the information about the investigation by the New Westminster Police would subvert the ends of justice. As well, I find that the grounds upon which the respondent depends to justify prohibiting public access do not outweigh the importance of access to the information.