SCC Case Information
Telus Communications Company v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)
Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch) for information purposes only.
Criminal Law Pre trial procedure General Warrant and Assistance Orders Whether the court below erred in finding that the general warrant power can be used to seize the content (the substance, meaning or purport) of private text messages from telecommunication service providers Whether the court below erred in finding that in acquiring the substance, meaning and purport of such private communications, the police had not engaged in an “interception” under the Criminal Code.
The appellant seeks to have a General Warrant and Assistance Order quashed. The General Warrant obliges the appellant to produce copies of all text messages sent and received by two of its subscribers over fourteen days and related subscriber information. The appellant routinely creates copies of all text messages that are sent and received by any of its subscribers and it stores these copies in a database, usually for thirty days. The copies are not intended to be transmitted. Nor are they created and stored for a purpose related to transmitting the original text messages. The police did not act pursuant to an authorization to intercept private communications. With the Crown’s consent, the motions judge rescinded part of the General Warrant that required production of text messages sent or received before the date on which the General Warrant was issued. He otherwise upheld the General Warrant.