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Freedom of Information: More Legal Action on the David Franklin Fracas

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Richard Dearden, Freedom of Information Fighter

The Ottawa Citizen newpaper wants to know what issues are involved in the David Franklin/National Gallery of Canada court battle and it’s initiating its own court battle to find out. Federal Court Deputy Judge Orville Frenette on Wednesday had ordered the permanent sealing of the file pertaining to Franklin’s application for “a judicial review.”

Paula McCooey of the Citizen reports:

Citizen lawyer Richard Dearden [above] says the paper will be filing a
motion seeking to unseal the file on the grounds that it infringes the
open court principle and Charter guarantees of freedom of the press.

“This
is a highly unusual order in that it orders that the registry return to
counsel for the parties any and all documents filed in connection with
the judicial review application,” Mr. Dearden said, adding the media
should have been given proper notice about the sealing of the documents
so they would have had an opportunity to make arguments against the
ban. “There was no need for absolute secrecy in this case.”

Fight on, Fearsome Dearden! Citizens (and inquiring Citizen journalists) have a right to know.

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