Federal Court

Charter of Rights

Denial of inmate’s grievance regarding cancellation of television channels violated applicant’s right of freedom of expression

Application by 46-year old prison inmate for judicial review of decision of acting senior deputy commissioner of Correctional Service Canada that denied applicant’s grievance over cancelling of two television channels included in package subscribed for by group of inmates. These channels aired sexually explicit conduct. They were cancelled because female correctional officers expressed degraded sense of personal dignity and they alleged that their safety was being undermined from their exposure to sexually explicit material on regular basis in workplace. Claim for denial of procedural fairness was only raised for first time on judicial review application. Application allowed. File was sent back to different commissioner for new determination. Claim for denial of procedural fairness was denied because applicant waived it. He was aware of this claim and he failed to raise it earlier in proceedings. Decision, however, was not reasonable because of lack of evidence on key issues. There was also no evidence of any connection between inmates watching sexually explicit content on television and sexual harassment of correctional officers. Applicant provided evidence that female officers were not at risk from inmates who watched pornographic movies. Decision under review violated applicant’s right of freedom of expression.

Naraine v. Canada (Attorney General) (Jul. 30, 2015, F.C., Jocelyne Gagné J., File No. T-1108-14) 123 W.C.B. (2d) 476.

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