Durham Regional Crime Stoppers Inc., et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen

(Ontario) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Criminal law - Evidence.


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Criminal law – Evidence – Privilege – Informants

Criminal law - Evidence - Privilege - Standing - Jurisdiction - Whether Durham Regional Crime Stoppers Inc. has standing to appeal from an interlocutory ruling in criminal proceedings against another party regarding the admissibility of a record of an anonymous tip that it received - Whether the Court has jurisdiction to hear the appeal - Whether informer privilege attaches to anonymous tips made to Crime Stoppers - Whether a trial judge may weigh and consider the content of an anonymous tip - Whether Crown counsel is prevented from disclosing the content of an anonymous tip to defence or the courts except in cases of waiver or innocence-at-stake - Whether privilege is excluded for criminality if admissible evidence demonstrates that a tip is the actus reus of a criminal offence - Appropriate remedy for a breach of anonymity.

Durham Regional Crime Stoppers Inc. solicits members of the public to provide anonymous tips in respect of criminal activity. It shares this information with law enforcement agencies. Its standard record of an anonymous tip includes declarations that the record is its exclusive property, disclosure of the record is strictly prohibited, and the record is not to be included in any investigative file, Crown brief or police report. At issue in this case is whether a record of an anonymous tip about a crime received by Durham Regional Crime Stoppers Inc. is protected by informer privilege or whether it is admissible as evidence for the Crown in criminal proceedings against an accused person.