RCMP Sued for Breach of Privacy

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Labour Rights Law acts for Kirk Forbes, who commenced legal proceedings in the BC Supreme Court alleging the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”) violated his privacy on June 3, 2022. Kirk alleges that two uniformed RCMP Officers entered his home without consent, knowledge, permission, or judicially authorized search warrant to serve an alleged traffic violation ticket. Kirk alleges that he was accosted by a female RCMP Officer as he was getting out of the shower in his home, while a male RCMP lurked inside his residence. Kirk described the events in his own words to Global Vancouver News Reporter, Catherine Urquhart here. A copy of the Notice of Civil Claim is available here.

To date, the Defendants have not filed a Response to Kirk’s lawsuit. Moreover, the RCMP has neither apologized nor taken any steps to respond to the verbal complaint Kirk made shortly after the incident in June 2022.

Police Officers are entrusted with extraordinary authority and powers. However, they are expected to act only within the scope of their lawful authority. Police Officers are expected not only to enforce the law, but to uphold the law themselves. While Kirk has also filed a written complaint with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, he has been advised that, if the RCMP Officers are found to acted improperly, they will not face any disciplinary consequences—hence the lawsuit to hold the RCMP accountable.

Privacy is a core value of Canadian Society as reflected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“Charter”), the BC Privacy Act, provincial protection for the collection, use, and disclosure of an individual’s personal information, and jurisprudence. Privacy is a fundamental right to which every member of Canadian Society is entitled. Privacy and security of the person is a right guaranteed by Section 8 of the Canadian Charter, subject only “to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” In 1984, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized a general common law right to privacy, i.e., “the right to be let alone by other people” in Hunter v Southam Inc. The SCC held that the right to privacy is a right to be secure against encroachment upon the citizens’ reasonable expectation of privacy in a free and democratic society.

In British Columbia, Section 1 of the Privacy Act establishes a breach of one’s privacy by another person willfully and without a claim of right as a tort without proof of damage.

The Canadian Privacy Act, the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and the BC Personal Information Protection Act all impose statutory restrictions regulating the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information.

Kirk has pled and relies upon the evolving common law tort of intrusion upon seclusion has been recognized in Jones v Tsige, and Severs v Hupe3r Inc.

Stay tuned …

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