Ruby v. RCMP, (2002) 295 N.R. 353 (SCC)

JudgeMcLachlin, C.J.C., L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court (Canada)
Case DateApril 24, 2002
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations(2002), 295 N.R. 353 (SCC);2002 SCC 75

Ruby v. RCMP (2002), 295 N.R. 353 (SCC)

MLB headnote and full text

[French language version follows English language version]

[La version française vient à la suite de la version anglaise]

....................

Temp. Cite: [2002] N.R. TBEd. NO.017

Clayton Charles Ruby (appellant) v. Solicitor General of Canada (respondent) and Privacy Commissioner of Canada and Robert Lavigne (interveners)

(28029; 2002 SCC 75; 2002 CSC 75)

Indexed As: Ruby v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police et al.

Supreme Court of Canada

McLachlin, C.J.C., L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ.

November 21, 2002.

Summary:

Ruby was refused access to personal infor­mation banks maintained by three agencies of the Canadian Government, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Department of External Affairs (DEA) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). He filed complaints with the Privacy Commissioner. The Commissioner advised that two complaints were not well-founded and that one complaint was in part well-founded and that certain information should be released. The Minister declined to accept the finding and release the information. Ruby applied for review of the refusals under s. 41 of the Privacy Act. Subse­quent­ly, the RCMP and CSIS released some of the information. A constitutional issue arose concerning whether s. 51 of the Priv­acy Act, insofar as it required mandatory in camera and ex parte proceedings, restricted the rights in s. 2(b), 7 or 8 of the Charter.

The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Divi­sion, in a decision reported at 80 F.T.R. 81, held that s. 51 restricted the rights protected by s. 2(b) of the Charter.

The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Divi­sion, in a decision reported at 113 F.T.R. 13, clarified that it was only ss. 51(2)(a) and 51(3) that restricted the s. 2(b) rights. The court held that the impugned provisions were saved by s. 1 of the Charter.

The Federal Court of Canada, Trial Divi­sion, in a decision reported at 140 F.T.R. 42, dismissed Ruby's applications under s. 41 of the Privacy Act for review of the refusals. Ruby appealed the decisions.

The Federal Court of Appeal, in a decision reported at 256 N.R. 278, determined the appeals. Ruby appealed. The Solicitor Gen­eral of Canada cross-appealed.

The Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal in part and allowed the cross-appeal.

Civil Rights - Topic 686

Liberty - Principles of fundamental justice - Deprivation of - What constitutes - Under s. 51 of the Privacy Act, where a govern­ment institution claimed a "foreign confi­dence" or "national security" exemption on an application relating to personal infor­mation, the hearing had to be held in camera (s. 51(2)(a)) - If, in the course of that in camera hearing, the government institution requested that the applicant be excluded, s. 51(3) mandated that the court hear the government ex parte - The Supreme Court of Canada assumed without deciding that s. 51(3) deprived an appellant of his liberty or security of the person interest under s. 7 of the Charter - How­ever, the court held that such a deprivation was not contrary to the principles of funda­mental justice - The mandatory ex parte and in camera provi­sions did not fall below the level of fair­ness required by s. 7 - See paragraphs 30 to 52.

Civil Rights - Topic 1441

Security of the person - Right to privacy - General - [See Civil Rights - Topic 686] .

Civil Rights - Topic 2486

Freedom of the press - Limitations - Court proceedings - Under s. 51 of the Privacy Act, where a government institution claimed a "foreign confidence" or "national security" exemption on an application relat­ing to personal infor­mation, the hear­ing had to be held in camera (s. 51(2)(a)) -If, in the course of that in camera hearing, the gov­ernment institution requested that the appli­cant be excluded, the court also had to hear the government ex parte (s. 51(3)) - The Crown conceded that ss. 51(2)(a) and 51(3) violated s. 2(b) of the Charter (free­dom of expression) - The Supreme Court of Canada held that the in camera provi­sion was not saved by s. 1 because it did not minimally impair the affected right - The court read down s. 51(2)(a) so that it applied only to ex parte submissions man­dated by s. 51(3) - A reviewing court retained the discretion to conduct the remainder of the hearing or any portion thereof, either in public, or in camera, or in camera and ex parte - See paragraphs 52 to 60.

Civil Rights - Topic 3193

Trials - Due process, fundamental justice and fair hearings - Administrative and noncriminal proceedings - Pro­cedure not contrary to funda­mental justice - [See Civil Rights - Topic 686 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 8348

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Application - Exceptions - Reasonable limits prescribed by law (Charter, s. 1) - [See Civil Rights - Topic 2486 ].

Civil Rights - Topic 8380.18

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Denial of rights - Remedies - Reading down - [See Civil Rights - Topic 2486 ].

Crown - Topic 7209

Examination of public documents - Free­dom of information - Bars - Information re investigative techniques - Section 22(1)(b) of the Privacy Act authorized an institution to refuse access to the personal information requested where disclosure of such infor­mation could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the enforcement of any law of Canada or a province or the lawful conduct of investigations - A motions judge held that the exemption could be applied to instances where disclosure of the informa­tion could have a chilling effect on the investigative process generally - The Fed­eral Court of Appeal disagreed, holding that the notion of injury in s. 22(1)(b) should not extend beyond injury to a spec­ified investigation, either actual or to be undertaken - The Supreme Court of Canada restored the motions judge's deci­sion, holding that the exemption in s. 22(1)(b) was not limited to current investi­gations or an identifiable prospective investigation - See paragraphs 61 to 63.

Crown - Topic 7220.04

Examination of public documents - Free­dom of information - Bars - Reasonable expectation of probable harm - [See Crown - Topic 7209 ].

Crown - Topic 7294

Examination of public documents - Free­dom of information - Practice - Judicial review - [See Civil Rights - Topic 2486 ].

Cases Noticed:

Manitoba (Attorney General) v. National Energy Board, [1974] 2 F.C. 502 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 25].

Royal Bank of Canada v. Got (W.) & Associates Electric Ltd. et al., [1994] 5 W.W.R. 337; 150 A.R. 93 (Q.B.), affd. [1997] 6 W.W.R. 715; 196 A.R. 241; 141 W.A.C. 241 (C.A.), affd. [1999] 3 S.C.R. 408; 247 N.R. 1; 250 A.R. 1; 213 W.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 26].

R. v. Dyment, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 417; 89 N.R. 249; 73 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 13; 229 A.P.R. 13; 45 C.C.C.(3d) 244, refd to. [para. 32].

R. v. Beare; R. v. Higgins, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 387; 88 N.R. 205; 71 Sask.R. 1; 45 C.C.C.(3d) 57; [1989] 1 W.W.R. 97; 66 C.R.(3d) 97, refd to. [para. 32].

R.B. v. Children's Aid Society of Metro­politan Toronto - see Sheena B., Re.

Sheena B., Re, [1995] 1 S.C.R. 315; 176 N.R. 161; 78 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 32].

R. v. O'Connor (H.P.), [1995] 4 S.C.R. 411; 191 N.R. 1; 68 B.C.A.C. 1; 112 W.A.C. 1; [1996] 2 W.W.R. 153; 103 C.C.C.(3d) 1; 44 C.R.(4th) 1; 29 W.C.B.(2d) 152, refd to. [para. 32].

Knight v. Board of Education of Indian Head School Division No. 19, [1990] 1 S.C.R. 653; 106 N.R. 17; 83 Sask.R. 81; 43 Admin. L.R. 189, refd to. [para. 39].

Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817; 243 N.R. 22; 174 D.L.R.(4th) 193, refd to. [para. 39].

Chiarelli v. Minister of Employment and Immigration, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 711; 135 N.R. 161, refd to. [para. 39].

R. v. Lyons, [1987] 2 S.C.R. 309; 80 N.R. 161; 82 N.S.R.(2d) 271; 207 A.P.R. 271; 37 C.C.C.(3d) 1, refd to. [para. 39].

Thomson Newspapers Ltd. v. Director of Investigation and Research, Combines Investigation Act et al., [1990] 1 S.C.R. 425; 106 N.R. 161; 39 O.A.C. 161; 54 C.C.C.(3d) 417; 76 C.R.(3d) 129; 67 D.L.R.(4th) 161; 29 C.P.R.(3d) 97; 47 C.R.R. 1, refd to. [para. 39].

R. v. Brown (J.D.) (2002), 285 N.R. 201; 157 O.A.C. 1 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 40].

R. v. McClure (D.E.), [2001] 1 S.C.R. 445; 266 N.R. 275; 142 O.A.C. 201, refd to. [para. 40].

Child and Family Services of Winnipeg Central v. K.L.W. et al., [2000] 2 S.C.R. 519; 260 N.R. 203; 150 Man.R.(2d) 161; 230 W.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 46].

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; 41 C.P.C.(2d) 109, refd to. [para. 52].

Canadian Broadcasting Corp. v. New Brunswick (Attorney General), [1996] 3 S.C.R. 480; 203 N.R. 169; 185 N.B.R.(2d) 81; 472 A.P.R. 81; 110 C.C.C.(3d) 193; 2 C.R.(5th) 1; 139 D.L.R.(4th) 385; 39 C.R.R.(2d) 189, refd to. [para. 53].

Ternette v. Canada (Solicitor General), [1992] 2 F.C. 75; 49 F.T.R. 161; 86 D.L.R.(4th) 281 (T.D.), refd to. [para. 55].

Rubin v. Canada (Minister of Transport), [1998] 2 F.C. 430; 221 N.R. 145 (F.C.A.), refd to. [para. 62].

Lavigne v. Commissioner of Official Lan­guages (Can.) et al. (2002), 289 N.R. 282 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 63].

Statutes Noticed:

Privacy Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. P-21, sect. 51(2)(a), sect. 51(3) [para. 24].

Authors and Works Noticed:

de Smith, Stanley A., Jowell, J., and Woolf, H., Judicial Review of Adminis­trative Action (5th Ed. 1995), p. 441 [para. 40].

Law Society of Alberta, Code of Profes­sional Conduct, c. 10, rule 8 [para. 27].

Jones, David Phillip and de Villars, Anne S., Principles of Administrative Law (3rd Ed. 1999), p. 261 [para. 40].

Wade, William, and Forsyth, Christopher, Administrative Law (8th Ed. 2000), pp. 506 [para. 40]; 509 [para. 39].

Counsel:

Marlys A. Edwardh and Breese Davies, for the appellant;

Barbara A. McIsaac, Q.C., Gregorios S. Tzemenakis and Christopher Rupar, for the respondent;

Dougald E. Brown and Steven J. Welch­ner, for the intervener, the Privacy Com­missioner of Canada;

Robert Lavigne, on his own behalf.

Solicitors of Record:

Ruby & Edwardh, Toronto, Ontario, for the appellant;

McCarthy Tétrault, Ottawa, Ontario and the Deputy Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, for the respondent;

Nelligan O'Brien Payne, Ottawa, Ontario, for the intervener, the Privacy Commis­sioner of Canada;

Robert Lavigne, on his own behalf.

This appeal was heard on April 24, 2002, by McLachlin, C.J.C., L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada. Arbour, J., delivered the following reasons for judgment for the court in both official languages, on November 21, 2002.

To continue reading

Request your trial
215 practice notes
  • Harkat, Re, (2014) 458 N.R. 67 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • May 14, 2014
    ...3 F.C.R. 497 ; 331 F.T.R. 301 ; 2008 FC 1216 , refd to. [para. 36]. Ruby v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police et al., [2002] 4 S.C.R. 3 ; 295 N.R. 353; 2002 SCC 75 , refd to. [para. R. v. Ahmad (F.), [2011] 1 S.C.R. 110 ; 411 N.R. 320 ; 274 O.A.C. 120 ; 2011 SCC 6 , refd to. [para. 55].......
  • Vancouver Sun et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., (2007) 247 B.C.A.C. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 11, 2007
    ...v. Warner Communications Inc. (1978), 435 U.S. 589, refd to. [para. 33]. Ruby v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police et al., [2002] 4 S.C.R. 3; 295 N.R. 353; 2002 SCC 75, refd to. [para. 33]. Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General) - see Ruby v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police et al. Canadian Broadcasti......
  • The Canadian Civil Liberties Association v. Nova Scotia (Attorney General),
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal of Nova Scotia (Canada)
    • October 26, 2022
    ...Ontario, 2013 SCC 43; Boucher v. The Queen, [1955] S.C.R. 16; Nelles v. Ontario, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 170; Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General), 2002 SCC 75; United States of America v. Friedland, [1996] O.J. No. 4399; MTS Allstream Inc. v. Bell Mobility Inc., 2008 MBQB 103; Forestwood Co-operativ......
  • R. v. Nahanee, 2022 SCC 37
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 27, 2022
    ...and Immigration), 2007 SCC 9, [2007] 1 S.C.R. 350; R. v. Rodgers, 2006 SCC 15, [2006] 1 S.C.R. 554; Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General), 2002 SCC 75, [2002] 4 S.C.R. 3; A. (L.L.) v. B. (A.), [1995] 4 S.C.R. 536; Cardinal v. Director of Kent Institution, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 643; R. v. McDonald, 2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
198 cases
  • Harkat, Re, (2014) 458 N.R. 67 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • May 14, 2014
    ...3 F.C.R. 497 ; 331 F.T.R. 301 ; 2008 FC 1216 , refd to. [para. 36]. Ruby v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police et al., [2002] 4 S.C.R. 3 ; 295 N.R. 353; 2002 SCC 75 , refd to. [para. R. v. Ahmad (F.), [2011] 1 S.C.R. 110 ; 411 N.R. 320 ; 274 O.A.C. 120 ; 2011 SCC 6 , refd to. [para. 55].......
  • Vancouver Sun et al. v. Canada (Attorney General) et al., (2007) 247 B.C.A.C. 1 (SCC)
    • Canada
    • Canada (Federal) Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 11, 2007
    ...v. Warner Communications Inc. (1978), 435 U.S. 589, refd to. [para. 33]. Ruby v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police et al., [2002] 4 S.C.R. 3; 295 N.R. 353; 2002 SCC 75, refd to. [para. 33]. Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General) - see Ruby v. Royal Canadian Mounted Police et al. Canadian Broadcasti......
  • X (Re),
    • Canada
    • Federal Court (Canada)
    • September 27, 2017
    ...3 F.C.R. 477 ; Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Harkat, 2014 SCC 37 , [2014] 2 S.C.R. 33 ; Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General), 2002 SCC 75, [2002] 4 S.C.R. 3 ; R. v. Brewster, 2016 ONSC 4133 (CanLII); R. v. A.M., 2008 SCC 19 , [2008] 1 S.C.R. 569 (also distinguished on another ......
  • R. v. Nahanee, 2022 SCC 37
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • October 27, 2022
    ...and Immigration), 2007 SCC 9, [2007] 1 S.C.R. 350; R. v. Rodgers, 2006 SCC 15, [2006] 1 S.C.R. 554; Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General), 2002 SCC 75, [2002] 4 S.C.R. 3; A. (L.L.) v. B. (A.), [1995] 4 S.C.R. 536; Cardinal v. Director of Kent Institution, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 643; R. v. McDonald, 2......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 firm's commentaries
  • Ontario Court Of Appeal Summaries (May 29 – June 2, 2017)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • June 16, 2017
    ...the Queen Keywords: Civil Litigation, Police Seizure, Ex parte, Criminal Code ss. 490(7) and 490(9)(c), R. v. Canada (Solicitor General) 2002 SCC 75, R. v. Backhouse (2005), 194 C.C.C. (3d) 1 Facts: Martin Winberg ("Winberg") bought a diamond and, at his request, the acquaintance agreed to ......
16 books & journal articles
  • Introduction to Information and Privacy Law
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Information and Privacy Law in Canada
    • June 25, 2020
    ...information for research is managed through specific 25 Toronto Star v AG Ontario , 2018 ONSC 2586; Ruby v Canada (Solicitor General) , 2002 SCC 75 [ Ruby SCC]. See Chapter 3, Introduction and Section B(2), and Chapter 4, Section B(3). 26 ARPA Canada and Patricia Maloney v R , 2017 ONSC 328......
  • The Prosecutor
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Ethics and Criminal Law. Second Edition
    • June 19, 2015
    ...Code ch IX, commentary 15. These ethical code provisions mirror the duties imposed at common law: see Ruby v Canada (Solicitor General) , 2002 SCC 75 at para 27; Harkat , above note 151 at para 101. ETHICS AND CRIMINAL LAW 640 The rationale for this rule is that the adversarial process usua......
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books The Laws of Government. Second Edition
    • June 14, 2011
    ...484, 497, 498, 499 Ruby v. Canada (Solicitor General), 2002 SCC 75, [2002] 4 S.C.R. 3, [2002] S.C.J. No. 73, var’g [2000] 3 F.C. 589, 187 D.L.R. (4th) 675, [2000] F.C.J. No. 779 (C.A.) ..................................................................... 519, 521, 524 Russow & The Green Par......
  • Table of cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Ethics and Criminal Law. Second Edition
    • June 19, 2015
    ...Rubin v State, 602 A2d 677 (Md 1992) .......................................................506, 531 Ruby v Canada (Solicitor General), 2002 SCC 75 .............................................. 639 Sable Offshore Energy Inc v Ameron International Corp, 2013 SCC 37 ...............................
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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