A note on some factors considered in an application to stay a court order, based on this report in the Montreal Gazette.
In 2011 the Canadian government opted to destroy that country’s national longarms registry. Experience had found the registry to have limited policing value and caused significant expense. It commenced destroying the data on the over-5,000,000 registered rifles and shotguns.
The Province of Quebec announced an intention to create its own longarm registry based on data from the disbanded Federal registry. The Canadian federal government declined to release registry data relating to Quebec and indicated that destruction of that data would proceed.
Action and Appeal
The Provincial government applied to the Superior Court of Quebec which ruled in its favour. An appeal by the Federal government to the Quebec Court of Appeal resulted in a decision on 27 June 2013 overturning the Superior court’s decision on the grounds that “the data in the gun registry did not belong to Quebec”
The Province announced its intention to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. It sought a “safeguard order”, which would prevent the Federal government destroying the data relating to Quebec until a ruling was made by the Supreme Court.
The application for a safeguard order was dismissed. Two factors were noted as significant by the Court –
- Maintaining the registry relating to Quebec cost the federal government approximately $100,000 a month.
- The cost to Quebec of creating its own registry ex nihilo was not a sufficient reason to suspend a court order.
The Court of Appeal decision allowing destruction of the data to proceed remains in force
The Quebecois government has announced its intention to seek a safeguard order from the Supreme Court of Canada. The Federal government has not indicated whether it will destroy the data relating to Quebec or await any further decision from the Supreme Court