On June 17, 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada released its long-awaited decision in Criminal Lawyers’ Assn. v. Ontario (Ministry of Public Safety and Security). The unanimous judgment of the Court, co-written by McLachlin C.J.C. and Abella J., is significant in that it recognizes, for the first time in Canada, that section 2(b) of the Charter protects a right to access government information. It remains to be seen, however, what impact the Criminal Lawyers’ Assn. decision will have from a practical perspective. The limited guidance provided by the Court is that there is a right to access information where it is “necessary to permit meaningful discussion on a matter of public interest”. In this article the author posits that having established a toehold in Canadian law, the scope of the right of access will necessarily expand over time.
Gilliland, Ryder L..
"Supreme Court Recognizes (a Derivative) Right to Access Information."
The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’s Annual Constitutional Cases Conference
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