Federal Appeal



Audit trails were admissible


Plaintiff employee of defendant Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) believed that her co-workers had improperly accessed her personal tax information using CRA’s systems when she heard them making comments about personal bankruptcy, since she had previously declared bankruptcy. After internal investigation, employee requested further investigation and claimed she experienced workplace harassment to point where she resigned. Employee brought action for misfeasance in public office. Employee appealed judgment determining admissibility of affidavit evidence respecting audit trails on motions for summary judgment and summary trial. Appeal dismissed. Motions judge found that recordation of access to employee’s CRA files occurred independently of any investigation, and audit trails were gathered for review. Motions judge found audit trails were “business records” under s. 30(1) of Canada Evidence Act and were not “investigation records” for purposes of s. 30(10) of the act. Motions judge made no error of law in concluding that because audit trails were business records, they were admissible. Motions judge committed no reviewable error in accepting explanatory portions in affidavits as admissible evidence as she required explanation of meaning of audit trails. Motions judge erred in failing to strike certain portions dealing with employee’s relationship with her superior as they had no bearing on issues, but ruling was not material to decision on motions.

Collins v. R. (Dec. 10, 2015, F.C.A., Eleanor R. Dawson J.A., C. Michael Ryer J.A., and Wyman W. Webb J.A., File No. A-211-14, A-343-13, A-356-13) Decision at 240 A.C.W.S. (3d) 846 was affirmed.  261 A.C.W.S. (3d) 316.

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