Liberals invoke S.39, refuse to provide evidence

June 16, 2021

Liberals invoke S.39, refuse to provide evidence

Today, Bruce Hughson of the Department of Justice forwarded a notice to the Federal Court concerning our case against the Attorney General of Canada. The notice is to inform the court that the government has invoked Section 39 of the Canada Evidence Act. This is an action that the Clerk of the Privy Council can take to "make secret" any materials the government doesn't want the public to see. This puts the materials, in this case the government's evidence, beyond the reach of anyone, even the courts. Supposedly, this sweeping power is exercised when the material is so sensitive, it is against the public interest to disclose it. 


The certificate invoking S. 39 was signed by the Interim Clerk of the Privy Council, Janice Charette. Keep in mind, in late May, Judge Gagne ordered the government to provide its evidence to her alone, not the public. She would then evaluate if the materials were too sensitive for public disclosure. It appears that the government believes the evidence they used to ban up to a million firearms owned exclusively by licensed gun owners is too secret (or dangerous) to have even a federal judge view it.

Many questions come to mind. What is in the government's evidence that's so secret or such a danger to national security that even the Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada can't see it? What could it possibly be? Could it be that the government has no evidence at all, and the prohibition is simply a political wedge issue to divide Canadians and secure urban votes? If so, what an incredibly corrupt use of government power that would be. Why wouldn't the government just deal fairly with gun owners? We aren't criminals, we haven't done anything to deserve this.

Regardless, this isn't the worst thing to happen to our case. Our team will ask the Judge to make an "adverse inference" against the government to the effect that whatever it is they are hiding would either hurt their case or at very least not help them. This has the potential to significantly damage their ability to defend. 

Either way, this has become typical of the bad faith dealings of the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau, Bill Blair & David Lametti the new Attorney General. "Open and transparent government", and "fact-based policy making" they said...

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