Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Report of the committee

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has the honour to present its


Your committee, to which was referred Bill S-231, An Act to amend the Canada Evidence Act and the Criminal Code (protection of journalistic sources), has, in obedience to the order of reference of December 14, 2016, examined the said bill and now reports the same with the following amendments:

1. Clause 2, pages 1 and 2:

(aOn page 1, replace lines 12 and 13 with the following:

journalist means a person whose main occupation is to contribute directly, either regularly or occasionally, for consideration, to the collection, writing or”; and

(bon page 2,

(i) add after line 8 the following:

(3.1) For the purposes of subsections (3) and (7), journalist includes an individual who was a journalist when information that identifies or is likely to identify the journalistic source was transmitted to that individual.”,

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(ii) replace lines 19 and 20 with the following:

“sure of information or a document only if they consider that”,

(iii) replace line 22 with the following:

“in evidence by any other reasonable means;”,

(iv) replace line 30 with the following:

“source and the journalist; and”, and

(v) add after line 30 the following:

(c) due consideration was given to all means of disclosure that would preserve the identity of the journalistic source.”.

2. Clause 3, page 4:

(areplace lines 9 and 10 with the following:

“Act of Parliament, a warrant under section 487.01, 487.1, 492.1 or 492.2, a search warrant under this Act, notably under section 487, or any other”; and

(b add after line 27 the following:

(3.1) The judge to whom the application for the warrant, authorization or order is made may, in his or her discretion, request that a special advocate present observations in the interests of freedom of the press concerning the conditions set out in subsection (3).”.

Respectfully submitted,


Deputy Chair