September 28, 2012
Saint John Police Force v. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation et al 2012 NBPC 17
On July 7, 2011, the body of Richard Oland, a prominent Saint John businessman, was found in his office and police commenced a homicide investigation.
In the course of the investigation police obtained and executed several search warrants and a production order, which at the time of issuing, were all ordered sealed.
In September 2011 the CBC applied for a variation of the sealing orders, and following a hearing, Jackson, C.P.C.J. ordered that all records relating to the warrants and production order continue to be sealed until June 15, 2012.
In September 2012 police applied for a further extension of the sealing orders on the basis that “the release would compromise the nature and extent of the ongoing investigation and that it would prejudice the interest of innocent persons.”
At para. 21 Justice Jackson concludes that:
…the Police have not demonstrated a serious and specific risk to the investigative integrity of the Oland homicide investigation; indeed their position is based on vague and general assertions of risk. Other than the issue of hallmark evidence which I did (sic) deal with later, there has been no legal basis established for most of the redacting sought to be retained, such as the names and statements of person who are neither suspects, persons of interest or subjects of search warrants.