Postmedia Network Inc. v Merrifield 2015 ONSC 2847


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The media applicants brought an unsuccessful application for a declaration that their rights under s. 2(b) of the Charter had been infringed and to set aside an earlier order which excluded the public from the trial proceedings and sealed all court records relating to the matters being heard.

Decision Summary

The issue in this application was whether the December 4, 2014 sealing order could be set aside so that the transcripts, affidavits and exhibits or parts of them, relating to the hearing held on that date, and any other related proceedings could be made available to the media applicants.

Referring to the principles established in Re Vancouver Sun, Justice Vallee states at para 9:

In Vancouver Sun, the court stated that once the existence of a confidential informer privilege has been established, the court has to carry on with the proceedings without violating that privilege while at the same time protecting and promoting the values of an open court principle. ...If some information can be disclosed without violating a confidential informer privilege, it ought to be disclosed.

However, he goes on to state, at para 11:

In some situations the court does not have the discretion to permit public access to certain types of information contained in court documents and the related proceedings. Court documents and transcripts containing certain types of information must be protected from disclosure. In these situations, the court has no discretion in this regard.


Postmedia Network Inc. v Merrifield 2015 ONSC 2847

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