November 1, 2021
CBC v Chief of Police 2021 ONSC 6935
This was a judicial review application from a police discipline hearing at which a video exhibit was introduced into evidence and subjected to a publication ban.
After the media was granted permission to make submissions respecting the publication ban on the video exhibit, the prosecutor and defence counsel agreed to remove the video exhibit from the record. A media consortium challenged the withdrawal of the exhibit.
The Divisional Court found that the granting of a publication ban without applying the correct test and then allowing the exhibit to be withdrawn after the media sought to challenge the publication ban was an error in principle and plainly wrong. The Court also found that there was no basis for a publication ban under the Dagenais-Mentuck test.
The Court also declared that exhibits must be made available during police discipline hearings and, in the case of digital exhibits, at no cost.