SCC Recognizes Blogging

Small footnote to the SCC’s recent decision in Simpson v. WIC and Mair.

LeBel J’s concurring judgment mentions blogs:

[73] This is all the more true in an age when the public is exposed to an astounding quantity and variety of commentaries on issues of public interest, ranging from political debate in the House of Commons, to newspaper editorials, to comedians’ satire, to a high school student’s blog. It would quite simply be wrong to assume that the public always takes statements of opinion at face value. Rather, members of the public must be presumed to evaluate comments in accordance with their own knowledge and opinions about the speaker and the subject of the comments.

[73] Cela demeure d’autant plus vrai à une époque où le public est exposé à une quantité et une variété phénoménales de commentaires sur des questions d’intérêt public, qu’il s’agisse par exemple de débats politiques à la Chambre des communes, d’éditoriaux de journaux, de satires des comédiens ou de blogues d’étudiants du secondaire. Nous aurions tout simplement tort de présumer que, dans tous les cas, le public accorde foi aux énoncés d’opinion. On doit plutôt penser qu’il évalue les commentaires d’après l’état de sa connaissance de l’auteur de l’énoncé et de la personne visée par les commentaires et selon son opinion à leur sujet.

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Comments

  1. I am glad that blogging has been recognized by the SCC, however, I find it ironic that it is mentioned in a case where the dispute (October, 1999) pre-dates blogging entirely.

  2. Melanie Bueckert

    It should be noted that the “blogosphere” was previously mentioned by the SCC, in para. 153 of Named Person v. Vancouver Sun, 2007 SCC 43, [2007] 3 S.C.R. 253.

    A quick QuickLaw search (of cases & legislation, using the general template) for “blog!” returned 104 hits. Leaving aside the numerous cases involving various people named Bloggs, by my count there are currently 28 cases that refer to blogs or blogging. In case anyone is interested, here is the list I compiled:

    1. R. v. Fenton, 2008 ABQB 251
    2. R. v. LeBlanc, 2006 NBPC 37
    3. Nelson Barbados Group Ltd. v. Cox, [2008] O.J. No. 454 (S.C.J.); [2008] O.J. No. 1455 (S.C.J.); [2008] O.J. No. 2410 (S.C.J.)
    4. Vaillancourt v. Lagacé, [2005] J.Q. no 11173 (C.S.)
    5. Abou-Khalil c. Diop, 2008 QCCS 1921
    6. R. v. Walkem, [2007] O.J. No. 186 (S.C.J.)
    7. Dempsey v. Envision Credit Union, 2006 BCSC 1324
    8. Martinez v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2005 FC 1050
    9. Wenzel Downhole Tools Ltd. v. Dreco Energy Services Ltd., 2006 ABQB 823
    10. Société Radio-Canada c. Québec (Procureur général), 2006 QCCS 5274
    11. R. v. Moolla, 2008 SKCA 70
    12. R. v. Gibb, [2005] O.J. No. 3057 (C.J.)
    13. R. v. Glover, [2006] O.J. No. 1037 (S.C.J.)
    14. Canada (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) v. Canada (Attorney General), [2007] O.J. No. 4762 (S.C.J.)
    15. R. v. White, 2007 ABQB 359
    16. International Charity Association Network v. The Queen International Charity Association Network (Applicant) v. Her Majesty the Queen (Respondent), 2008 TCC 3
    17. Alberta v. Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (R. Grievance), [2008] A.G.A.A. No. 20
    18. Chatham-Kent (Municipality) v. National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada (CAW-Canada), Local 127 (Clarke Grievance), [2007] O.L.A.A. No. 135
    19. EV Logistics v. Retail Wholesale Union, Local 580 (Discharge Grievance), [2008] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 22
    20. Okkema (Re), [2007] O.R.B.D. No. 1688
    21. CHRB-AM (AM 1140) re an episode of Freedom Radio Network, [2007] C.B.S.C.D. No. 4
    22. Ottawa (City) v. Ottawa Professional Firefighters Assn. (Criminal Records Check Grievance), [2007] O.L.A.A. No. 731
    23. CILQ-FM re the broadcast of a Rolling Stones concert, [2005] C.B.S.C.D. No. 30
    24. University of Ottawa v. Assn. of Professors of the University of Ottawa (Rancourt Grievance), [2008] O.L.A.A. No. 356
    25. Order MO-2173; York (Regional Municipality), [2007] O.I.P.C. No. 54
    26. Section locale 175 du Syndicat canadien des communications, de l’énergie et du papier (SCEP) et Petro-Canada, [2008] D.C.R.T.Q. no 246
    27. Gougoux c. Richard, [2005] J.Q. no 15210
    28. Hartz Mountain Corp. v. Harwin, 2007 LNCIRA 9

  3. Actually Shaunna since the world’s oldest legal blog just told us that it launched on July 1, 1999, there were blogs – and even legal blogs – when Mair spoke.