Broadcaster did not establish how its intervention would help answer reference questions

Judges and Courts - References to Courts - Procedure upon Reference

Individual complainant filed complaint with respondent privacy commissioner. Complainant alleged that technology company was violating privacy law, by continuing to display links in search results. Complainant alleged that linked articles were misleading, outdated, and displayed sensitive information. Questions were referred to commissioner. Company claimed that reference questions should be reframed, or that reference should be struck. Public broadcaster and media organizations brought motions to be added as parties to reference, or alternatively for leave to intervene. These motions were dismissed by prothonotary, with leave to refile application for leave to intervene after determination of company's motion. Company's motion for expansion of scope of questions was dismissed by prothonotary. Company appealed from this order, while broadcaster appealed dismissal of its motion. Appeals dismissed. Prothonotary correctly interpreted applicable law and rules. Tribunal had discretion over reference questions. Constitutionality was not intertwined with reference questions, as company claimed. Company did not establish free speech violation. Company should have brought constitutional challenge, if argument that applicable law was unconstitutional on its face were accepted. Company could bring argument at merits stage, as to propriety of reference questions. Broadcaster would not be bound by reference results. Broadcaster could potentially be affected by result, but this was position no different from public who used company's services. Broadcaster had no separate right to hearing. Broadcaster had not established how its intervention would help answer reference questions.

Reference re Subsection 18.3(1) of the Federal Courts Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-7 (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 4062, 2019 CarswellNat 4063, 2019 FC 957, 2019 CF 957, Jocelyne Gagné A.C.J. (F.C.); affirmed (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 594, 2019 CarswellNat 954, 2019 FC 261, 2019 CF 261, Mireille Tabib Prothonotary (F.C.).

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