R. v. Bryan (P.C.) et al., 2005 BCCA 285

JudgeFinch, C.J.B.C., Rowles and Saunders, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (British Columbia)
Case DateMay 20, 2005
JurisdictionBritish Columbia
Citations2005 BCCA 285;(2005), 213 B.C.A.C. 52 (CA)

R. v. Bryan (P.C.) (2005), 213 B.C.A.C. 52 (CA);

    352 W.A.C. 52

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2005] B.C.A.C. TBEd. MY.050

Regina (appellant) v. Paul Charles Bryan (respondent) and Attorney General of Canada (intervenor)

(CA031385; 2005 BCCA 285)

Indexed As: R. v. Bryan (P.C.) et al.

British Columbia Court of Appeal

Finch, C.J.B.C., Rowles and Saunders, JJ.A.

May 20, 2005.

Summary:

Staggered poll closings in Canada resulted in election results in Atlantic Canada (11% of total ridings) being available before polls closed in Western Canada. Section 329 of the Canada Evidence Act banned publication of these results until the polls closed in the rest of Canada. An accused charged under s. 329 challenged the constitutionality of s. 329, submitting that it violated freedom of expression (Charter, s. 2(b)) and was not saved as a reasonable limit prescribed by law under s. 1.

The British Columbia Provincial Court rejected the constitutional challenge and found the accused guilty. The accused appealed.

The British Columbia Supreme Court, in a judgment reported [2003] B.C.T.C. 1499, allowed the appeal and substituted an acquittal. Section 329 limited freedom of expression and was not a reasonable limit prescribed by law. The Crown appealed.

The British Columbia Court of Appeal, Saunders, J.A., dissenting, allowed the appeal and restored the conviction. Although s. 329 violated s. 2(b) of the Charter, it was saved under s. 1 as a reasonable limit prescribed by law.

Civil Rights - Topic 1855.3

Freedom of speech or expression - Limitations on - Transmitting election results - Staggered poll closings in Canada resulted in elections results in Atlantic Canada (11% of total ridings) being available before polls closed in Western Canada - Section 329 of the Canada Elections Act banned publication of election results until the polls closed in all of Canada - Section 329 admittedly limited freedom of expression (Charter, s. 2(b)) - The British Columbia Court of Appeal held that s. 329 was a reasonable limit prescribed by law (Charter, s. 1) - There was no direct evidence that releasing Atlantic Canada election results before polls closed in Western Canada adversely affected voting behaviour in the west, but direct evidence was not required - The object or purpose of s. 329, promotion of electoral fairness, was "pressing and substantial" - The publication ban minimally impaired freedom of expression (2.5 hour delay in reporting results) - The court stated that there was "evidence from which it could be inferred that there was a reasoned apprehension of harm to the legitimacy of the electoral regime if the publication ban, aimed at preventing information imbalance, was not continued" - See paragraphs 1 to 73.

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1855.3 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 8590

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Practice - Evidence - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1855.3 ].

Elections - Topic 6010

Offences - General - Transmitting election results - [See Civil Rights - Topic 1855.3 ].

Cases Noticed:

Harper v. Canada (Attorney General), [2004] 1 S.C.R. 827; 320 N.R. 49; 348 A.R. 201; 321 W.A.C. 201; 2004 SCC 33, appld. [para. 6].

R. v. Oakes, [1986] 1 S.C.R. 103; 65 N.R. 87; 14 O.A.C. 335; 26 D.L.R.(4th) 200; 50 C.R.(3d) 1; 24 C.C.C.(3d) 321; 19 C.R.R. 308, refd to. [para. 9].

Attis v. Board of Education of District No. 15 et al., [1996] 1 S.C.R. 825; 195 N.R. 81; 171 N.B.R.(2d) 321; 437 A.P.R. 321, refd to. [para. 25].

Ross v. New Brunswick School District No. 15 - see Attis v. Board of Education of District No. 15 et al.

R. v. Morgentaler, [1993] 3 S.C.R. 463; 157 N.R. 97; 125 N.S.R.(2d) 81; 349 A.P.R. 81, refd to. [para. 26].

United States of America v. Cotroni; United States of America v. El Zein, [1989] 1 S.C.R. 1469; 96 N.R. 321; 23 Q.A.C. 182; 48 C.C.C.(3d) 193, refd to. [para. 29].

RJR-MacDonald Inc. et Imperial Tobacco Ltd. v. Canada (Procureur général), [1995] 3 S.C.R. 199; 187 N.R. 1; 127 D.L.R.(4th) 1; 100 C.C.C.(3d) 449, refd to. [para. 30].

R. v. Butler and McCord, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 452; 134 N.R. 81; 78 Man.R.(2d) 1; 16 W.A.C. 1; 70 C.C.C.(3d) 129; 11 C.R.(4th) 137, refd to. [para. 30].

R. v. Sharpe (J.R.), [2001] 1 S.C.R. 45; 264 N.R. 201; 146 B.C.A.C. 161; 239 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 30].

Libman v. Quebec (Attorney General), [1997] 3 S.C.R. 569; 218 N.R. 241, refd to. [para. 30].

Thomson Newspapers Co. et al. v. Canada (Attorney General), [1998] 1 S.C.R. 877; 226 N.R. 1; 109 O.A.C. 201, refd to. [para. 30].

Sauvé v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer) et al., [2002] 3 S.C.R. 519; 294 N.R. 1, refd to. [para. 30].

Lavigne v. Ontario Public Service Employees' Union et al., [1991] 2 S.C.R. 211; 126 N.R. 161; 48 O.A.C. 241; 81 D.L.R.(4th) 545; 4 C.R.R.(2d) 193, refd to. [para. 67].

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. New Brunswick (Attorney General), [1996] 3 S.C.R. 480; 203 N.R. 169; 182 N.B.R.(2d) 81; 463 A.P.R. 81; 110 C.C.C.(3d) 193; 2 C.R.(5th) 1, refd to. [para. 68].

Edmonton Journal v. Alberta (Attorney General), [1989] 2 S.C.R. 1326; 102 N.R. 321; 103 A.R. 321; 64 D.L.R.(4th) 577; [1990] 1 W.W.R. 577; 71 Alta. L.R.(2d) 273; 45 C.R.R. 1, refd to. [para. 103].

Royal College of Dental Surgeons (Ont.) et al. v. Rocket and Price, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 232; 111 N.R. 161; 40 O.A.C. 241; 71 D.L.R.(4th) 68, refd to. [para. 103].

Statutes Noticed:

Canada Elections Act, S.C. 2000, c. 9, sect. 329 [paras. 2, 77].

Elections Act (Can.) - see Canada Elections Act.

Authors and Works Noticed:

Canada, Hansard, House of Commons Debates, Government Orders (November 25, 1996), pp. 6642 to 6648, 6714 [para. 10]

Canada, Hansard, House of Commons Debates, Government Orders (November 26, 1996), pp. 6714, 6721 to 6724, 6727, 6738, 6753 [para. 10].

Canada, Senate Debates, vol. 136, Issues 56 & 57 (December 3 and 4, 1996), pp. 1430, 1450 to 1509 [para. 10].

Canada, Senate Debates, vol. 135, Issues 62 & 63 (December 13 and 16, 1996), pp. 1030, 1540 to 1550 [para. 10].

Canada, Report of the Chief Electoral Officer on the 35th General Election; Canada's Electoral System: Strengthening the Foundation (1996), generally [para. 10].

Canada, Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing, Reforming Electoral Democracy: Final Report (Lortie Commission Report) (1991), vol. 2 [para. 10]; pp. 84 [paras. 54, 94]; 85 [para. 94].

Canada, Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Proceedings, Issue 41 (December 9, 1996), generally [para. 10].

Canada, Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Proceedings, Issue 43 (December 11, 1996), generally [para. 10].

Canada, Standing Senate Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (December 5, 1996), pp. 1108 ff [para. 10].

Hansard - see Canada, Hansard, House of Commons Debates.

Lortie Commission Report - see Canada, Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing, Reforming Electoral Democracy: Final Report.

Counsel:

A.I. Nathanson, for the appellant;

D.J. Jordan, Q.C., and R.W. Sieg, for the respondent;

S.D. Frankel, Q.C., and P.R. La Prairie, for the intervenor.

This appeal was heard on May 2, 2005, at Vancouver, B.C., before Finch, C.J.B.C., Rowles and Saunders, JJ.A., of the British Columbia Court of Appeal.

The judgment of the Court of Appeal was delivered on May 20, 2005, and the following opinions were filed:

Rowles, J.A. (Finch, C.J.B.C., concurring) - see paragraphs 1 to 75;

Saunders, J.A., dissenting - see paragraphs 76 to 106.

To continue reading

Request your trial
3 practice notes
  • R. v. Bryan (P.C.) et al., (2007) 359 N.R. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 15 Marzo 2007
    ...prescribed by law. The Crown appealed. The British Columbia Court of Appeal, Saunders, J.A., dissenting, in a judgment reported (2005), 213 B.C.A.C. 52; 352 W.A.C. 52, allowed the appeal and restored the conviction. Although s. 329 violated s. 2(b) of the Charter, it was saved under s. 1 as......
  • R. v. Bryan (P.C.) et al., (2007) 237 B.C.A.C. 33 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 15 Marzo 2007
    ...prescribed by law. The Crown appealed. The British Columbia Court of Appeal, Saunders, J.A., dissenting, in a judgment reported (2005), 213 B.C.A.C. 52; 352 W.A.C. 52, allowed the appeal and restored the conviction. Although s. 329 violated s. 2(b) of the Charter, it was saved under s. 1 as......
  • R. v. Bryan (P.C.), (2005) 349 N.R. 393 (Motion)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 15 Diciembre 2005
    ...Bryan v. Her Majesty the Queen and Attorney General of Canada , a case from the British Columbia Court of Appeal dated May 20, 2005. See 213 B.C.A.C. 52; 352 W.A.C. 52. See Bulletin of Proceedings taken in the Supreme Court of Canada at pages 1773 and 1774, December 16, 2005. Motion granted......
3 cases
  • R. v. Bryan (P.C.) et al., (2007) 359 N.R. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 15 Marzo 2007
    ...prescribed by law. The Crown appealed. The British Columbia Court of Appeal, Saunders, J.A., dissenting, in a judgment reported (2005), 213 B.C.A.C. 52; 352 W.A.C. 52, allowed the appeal and restored the conviction. Although s. 329 violated s. 2(b) of the Charter, it was saved under s. 1 as......
  • R. v. Bryan (P.C.) et al., (2007) 237 B.C.A.C. 33 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 15 Marzo 2007
    ...prescribed by law. The Crown appealed. The British Columbia Court of Appeal, Saunders, J.A., dissenting, in a judgment reported (2005), 213 B.C.A.C. 52; 352 W.A.C. 52, allowed the appeal and restored the conviction. Although s. 329 violated s. 2(b) of the Charter, it was saved under s. 1 as......
  • R. v. Bryan (P.C.), (2005) 349 N.R. 393 (Motion)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • 15 Diciembre 2005
    ...Bryan v. Her Majesty the Queen and Attorney General of Canada , a case from the British Columbia Court of Appeal dated May 20, 2005. See 213 B.C.A.C. 52; 352 W.A.C. 52. See Bulletin of Proceedings taken in the Supreme Court of Canada at pages 1773 and 1774, December 16, 2005. Motion granted......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT