New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. v. Nova Scotia (Speaker of the House of Assembly)

New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. V. Nova Scotia (Speaker Of The House Of Assembly)

New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. v. Nova Scotia (Speaker of the House of Assembly)

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New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. v. Nova Scotia (Speaker of the House of Assembly) is a leading Supreme Court of Canada decision wherein the court has ruled that parliamentary privilege is a part of the unwritten convention in the Constitution of Canada. Therefore, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms do not apply to members of Nova Scotia House of Assembly when they exercise their inherent privileges of refusing strangers from entering the House.

Background

New Brunswick Broadcasting Company, carrying on business under the name of MITV, had made a request to film the proceedings of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly with its own camera or one provided by the speaker. However, the speaker refused television cameras in the House citing parliamentary privilege. New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. appealed the ruling, citing violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Both the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Trial Division and Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Appeal Division agreed that the prohibition violates freedom of speech and ordered Nova Scotia House of Assembly to allow cameras in the House.

Ruling

The majority was written by Justice McLachlin with Justice L'Heureux-Dubé, Gonthier and Iacobucci concurring.

The court found that although the tradition of curial deference does not cover all activities of a legislative assembly, it includes the privileges of legislative assemblies. This right is necessary to the functioning of that body and should not be...
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