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Category Archives: Privilege

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Federal Court of Appeal Eliminates Commissioner of Competition’s ‘Public Interest’ Class Privilege

Posted in Case Comments, Privilege

For nearly thirty years, the Commissioner of Competition has been able to assert ‘public interest’ privilege – on a class basis – to prevent the disclosure of documents obtained from informants in the course of its investigations.[1] Not anymore.

Access by litigants to the Commissioner’s investigation file is an important and developing issue.[2] In Vancouver Airport Authority v. Commissioner of Competition, 2018 FCA 24, Justice Stratas, writing for a unanimous panel with Justices Boivin and Laskin, held that the Commissioner can no longer invoke ‘public interest’ privilege on a class-wide basis to prevent access.[3] While the Commissioner can still … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court of Canada (Clearly and Expressly) Affirms the Importance of Solicitor-Client and Litigation Privilege

Posted in Case Comments, Privilege

In two recent companion decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the importance of litigation privilege and solicitor-client privilege to the Canadian legal system. In Lizotte v. Aviva Insurance Company of Canada[1] (Lizotte), the Court recognized litigation privilege as a distinct and fundamental principle of the administration of justice, while in Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. University of Calgary[2] (Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner)), the Court focused on issues of solicitor-client privilege. These decisions both confirm that for the legislature to abrogate either litigation privilege or solicitor-client privilege, nothing less than clear and … Continue Reading