March 29, 2019 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Justice Canada
The Department of Justice Canada issued the following statement about the Her Majesty The Queen v Mark Norman case:
“We would like to take this opportunity to clarify information relevant to this case and the third party document disclosure process currently underway, in response to media reports.
At the outset of this process, it was made clear in court that government organizations would be providing all responsive documents to the court who would review and assess claims of solicitor-client and litigation privilege and public interest immunity, including Cabinet confidences and privacy interests. The Government of Canada is committed to a transparent, cooperative, responsive and coordinated process in submitting documents to the court. The Department of Justice is doing this on behalf of seven government organizations to ensure the court and counsel have all of the relevant documents needed before going to trial.
Following a court appearance on March 28, 2019, some media reports imply that the Clerk of the Privy Council has additional documents that have not yet been provided to the court. However, as we have stated in court, the Clerk has provided to the court all documents that he has in his possession in response to the series of subpoena requests, including the document that was the subject of media reports yesterday.
Media reports also state that documents provided by the Clerk were heavily redacted. These redactions were applied by legal counsel. Such redactions are consistent with the normal process applied to all documents across the seven implicated organizations where the process for the identification, review and production of documents follows a two-stage process set out by the Supreme Court of Canada case of R v O’Connor. The final say on these redactions and relevance of the documents rests with the court.
To be clear, a consistent process is in place and is being followed to respond to requests that have been made and any additional requests to review documents, redact them in accordance with the law, and submit them to the court for review. To date, 7,032 documents have been provided to the judge for review and we continue to review approximately 1,000 remaining documents. We expect to submit these remaining documents to the court in the coming weeks.
This fact sheet provides more information on how the document disclosure process works and the department remains open to providing information on its role and how the process continues to unfold.”