McNeil v. Nova Scotia Board of Censors, (1975) 5 N.R. 43 (SCC)

JudgeLaskin, C.J.C., Martland, Judson, Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon, Dickson, Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateMay 20, 1975
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(1975), 5 N.R. 43 (SCC);EYB 1975-249021;1975 CanLII 14 (SCC);[1975] ACS no 77;[1976] 2 SCR 265;12 NSR (2d) 85;55 DLR (3d) 632;[1975] SCJ No 77 (QL);5 NR 43

McNeil v. N.S. Bd. of Censors (1975), 5 N.R. 43 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

McNeil v. Nova Scotia Board of Censors

Indexed As: McNeil v. Nova Scotia Board of Censors

Supreme Court of Canada

Laskin, C.J.C., Martland, Judson, Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon, Dickson, Beetz and de Grandpré, JJ.

May 20, 1975.

Summary:

This case arose out of an action for a declaration respecting the legislative competence of the Province of Nova Scotia to enact the Theatres and Amusements Act and particularly the provisions of the Act which established the Nova Scotia Board of Censors. The Province of Nova Scotia alleged, inter alia, that the plaintiff had no standing or status to maintain a class action on behalf of the general public respecting the constitutional validity of the Theatres and Amusements Act. The Trial Division of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court held that the plaintiff had the standing to maintain the action for a declaration on behalf of the general public - see 9 N.S.R.(2d) 506.

On appeal to the Appeal Division of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, the appeal was dismissed and the judgment of the Trial Division was affirmed. The Appeal Division held that an action questioning the validity of the Theatres and Amusements Act was a justiciable issue and the issue as presented was a substantial challenge to the legislation. The Appeal Division stated that the Trial Division properly exercised its discretion when it granted the plaintiff standing to maintain the action - see 9 N.S.R.(2d) 483.

On appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, the appeal was dismissed and the judgment of the Appeal Division of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court was affirmed. The Supreme Court of Canada referred to the question as a serious constitutional issue and stated that the legislation directly affected members of the public in what they may view in Nova Scotia theatres.

Practice - Topic 207

Persons who can sue and be sued - Individuals - Class action by an individual on behalf of the general public respecting the constitutional validity of the Nova Scotia Theatre and Amusements Act (Board of Censors) - The Supreme Court of Canada exercised its discretion and granted standing to the individual to bring the action - The Supreme Court of Canada stated that the issue was a serious constitutional issue which directly affected what the public may view in Nova Scotia theatres.

Cases Noticed:

Smith v. Attorney General of Ontario, [1924] S.C.R. 331, folld. [para. 3].

Thorson v. Attorney General of Canada, [1975] S.C.R. 138, 1 N.R. 225, folld. [para. 4].

Statutes Noticed:

Theatres and Amusements Act, R.S.N.S. 1967, c. 304.

Counsel:

Bruce Preeper and William M. Wilson, for the appellants;

R. Murrant and D.M Jones, for the respondent;

M. Manning, for A.G. for Ontario (intervenant);

W. Henkel, Q.C., for A.G. for Alberta (intervenant);

K. Lysyk, Q.C., for A.G. for Saskatchewan (intervenant);

T.B. Smith, Q.C., for A.G. for Canada (intervenant);

S. Borins and G.D. Watson, for The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (intervenant).

This appeal was heard by the Supreme Court of Canada on April 29 and 30, 1975. Judgment was delivered by the Supreme Court of Canada on May 20, 1975.

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Canada was delivered by LASKIN, C.J.C.

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1 firm's commentaries
  • Court Of Appeal Summaries (June 20 ' 24, 2022)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • June 27, 2022
    ...Violence Society, 2012 SCC 45, Thorson v. Canada (Attorney General), [1975] 1 S.C.R. 138, Nova Scotia (Board of Censors) v. McNeil, [1976] 2 S.C.R. 265, Canada (Minister of Justice) v. Borowski, [1981] 2 S.C.R. 575, Ernst v Alberta Energy Regulator, 2017 SC 1, Bogaerts v. Ontario (Attorney ......
52 books & journal articles
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Archive The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Fifth Edition
    • August 29, 2013
    ...[2003] 2 SCR 504, 2003 SCC 54 .................................. 79, 87, 123, 359, 375, 380, 402 Nova Scotia Board of Censors v McNeil, [1976] 2 SCR 265, 55 DLR (3d) 632 .......................................................................................... 119 Nunziata v Toronto (City) ......
  • THE RELAXATION OF REPRESENTATIVE STANDING IN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW: A SIDE-EFFECT OF CHARTERS OF RIGHTS?
    • Canada
    • University of British Columbia Law Review Vol. 49 No. 1, January 2016
    • January 1, 2016
    ...c 54. (153) Thorson, supra note 151 at 145, Laskin J for Martland, Ritchie, Spence, Pigeon & Dickson JJ. (154) Ibid at 161. (155) [1976] 2 SCR 265, 55 DLR (3d) 632 [cited to (156) Ibid at 271. (157) [1981] 2 SCR 575, 130 DLR (3d) 588 [Borowski cited to SCR], (158) RSC 1970, c C-34, s 25......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Civil Litigation
    • June 16, 2010
    ...41 Nova Scotia Board of Censors v. McNeil (1975), [1976] 2 S.C.R. 265, 55 D.L.R. (3d) 632, [1975] S.C.J. No. 77 .................................................. .57– 58 Novak v. Bond, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 808, 172 D.L.R. (4th) 385, [1999] S.C.J. No. 26 ...............................................
  • Foreword
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Canadian Class Action Review No. 14-1, December 2018
    • December 1, 2018
    ...on standing and class actions be made a priority: both letters can be found in Box No B380543, above note 11. 38 [1975] 1 SCR 138. 39 [1976] 2 SCR 265 (Nova Scotia resident challenging the constitutionality of the censorship provisions under the Theatres and Amusements Act, RSNS 1967, c 304......
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