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Long-gun Registry – preservation order

Long-gun Registry – preservation order

On June 3, 2015, the Information Commissioner filed a motion to obtain a preservation order in Information Commissioner of Canada v Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (T-785-15) to prevent the destruction of the records in question in the ongoing matter. The order is to require the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to either deliver the records in question to the Registry of the Federal Court or to prohibit the Minister from destroying the records.

On June 26, 2015, Justice Martineau of the Federal Court issued reasons for its order of June 22, 2015 which ordered that the virtual copy of the remaining data of the Long-gun Registry be preserved and that the hard drive be delivered to the court by 10 a.m. on June 23, 2015. In its reasons, Justice Martineau endorsed his Federal Court colleague that the “Information Commissioner is one of the custodians of our democracy” (see Bronskill v Canadian Heritage). He also stated that “the public interest flowing from the exercise of any such rights of access and intervention by the Information Commissioner to enforce government accountability outweighs any public interest invoked by the Minister to pre-emptively destroy the records at issue before the matter is heard by the Court.” The full decision is available here.

The Information Commissioner issued a statement regarding the preservation order where she stated that "This order is an essential milestone to protect the rights conferred by the Access to Information Act until the end of the proceedings." 

Read more on the Information Commissioner's application for judicial review against the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in relation to the investigation into an access to information request for the Long-gun Registry.

The Information Commissioner also filed an application challenging the constitutionality of the Ending the Long-gun Registry Act as amended by Bill C-59.

For more information on the Information Commissioner's investigation, please consult the Commissioner's report Investigation into an Access to Information Request for the Long-gun Registry.