An Unduly Free Press and Other Vices: The Vice Media Case
This post examines the recent Supreme Court ruling in R v Vice Media Canada Inc, 2018 SCC 53. It is a bit of a strange case in its facts, and its precedential value is unclear because it was decided without reference to the Journalistic Sources Protection Act, S.C. 2017, c. 22.1 Despite this, it remains an interesting case due to the differing stances of the majority and dissent. I take the view here that the majority under Moldaver J presented the better analysis, and that the position forwarded by the dissent under Abella J is both unsound and undesirable. The analytic framework forwarded by Moldaver J is reasonable and balanced, and his view that it was neither necessary nor appropriate to alter our understanding of s 2(b) of the Charter in this case was entirely proper. 2 On the other hand, Abella J’s analysis rests on a questionable interpretation of the Charter text, and offers scant detail on how her alternative approach would actually be implemented.
1 Tim Quigly, Case Comment on R v Vice Media Canada Inc, 2018 SCC 53, 2018 CarswellOnt 19988 (WL Can).
2 R v Vice Media Canada Inc, 2018 SCC 53 at para 103 [Vice].