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The CCLA will appear as an intervenor before the Supreme Court of Canada in York Region District School Board v. Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario on Wednesday, October 18th, 2023.   

This appeal follows an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which held that a principal at the York Region District School Board performed an unlawful search and seizure of a teacher’s laptop when they accessed a personal log on the teacher’s laptop, took screenshots of the log, and used the screenshots in disciplinary proceedings against two teachers.    

The CCLA is intervening on the question of whether the Court of Appeal erred in its analysis of the content and scope of section 8 rights in the workplace. The CCLA will argue that section 8 analysis must remain content neutral to prevent unreasonable searches and seizures, and that courts should take a broad and flexible approach to what constitutes a private communication to keep up with technological developments and new forms of communication.  

The Court’s decision on this issue will be significant: it has the potential to diminish the scope of protection afforded by section 8 and greatly impact the reasonable expectation of privacy people have in non-criminal contexts like their place of work.  

You can read the CCLA’s factum here 

CCLA is grateful for the excellent pro bono assistance of Gerald Chan and Olivia Eng of Stockwoods LLP.  

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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