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Smith v. Canada (Attorney General), [2001] 3 S.C.R. 902, 2001 SCC 88

 

Deborah Smith                                                                                                  Appellant

 

v.

 

The Attorney General of Canada                                                                 Respondent

 

and

 

The Attorney General for Ontario,

the Attorney General of Quebec and

the Attorney General of Manitoba                                                               Interveners

 

Indexed as:  Smith v. Canada (Attorney General)

 

Neutral citation:  2001 SCC 88.

 

File No.:  27844.

 

2001:  November 7; 2001:  December 7.

 

Present:  McLachlin C.J. and L’Heureux‑Dubé, Gonthier, Iacobucci, Major, Bastarache, Binnie, Arbour and LeBel JJ.

 

on appeal from the federal court of appeal

 


Constitutional law -- Charter of Rights  -- Unreasonable search or seizure -- Claimant receiving unemployment insurance benefits while holidaying outside Canada -- Claimant filling out Customs Declaration Form on return to Canada -- Information contained on form disclosed to Canada Unemployment Insurance Commission -- Commission ordering repayment of benefits received by claimant while outside Canada -- Provision of information by Revenue Canada (Customs) to Commission not infringing claimant’s right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure -- No reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to information disclosed to Commission -- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 8  -- Customs Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 1 (2nd Supp .), s. 108(1) (b).

 

Constitutional law -- Charter of Rights  -- Mobility rights -- Unemployment insurance legislation disentitling unemployment insurance claimants from receiving benefits while outside Canada -- Legislation not infringing claimants’ mobility rights -- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 6(1)  -- Unemployment Insurance Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. U‑1, s. 32(b).

 

Cases Cited

 

Referred to:  R. v. Plant, [1993] 3 S.C.R. 281.

 

Statutes and Regulations Cited

 

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, ss. 6(1) , 8 .

 

APPEAL from a judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal (2000), 252 N.R. 172, 73 C.R.R. (2d) 196, [2000] F.C.J. No. 174 (QL), dismissing an application for judicial review from a decision of an Umpire, CUB‑44824, dismissing a claimant’s appeal from a decision of the Canada Unemployment Insurance Commission.  Appeal dismissed.


Brian A. Crane, Q.C., and Ritu Gambhir, for the appellant.

 

Brian J. Saunders and Anne M. Turley, for the respondent.

 

Sean Hanley, for the intervener the Attorney General for Ontario.

 

Gilles Laporte and Isabelle Harnois, for the intervener the Attorney General of Quebec.

 

Eugene B. Szach and Donald Lofendale, for the intervener the Attorney General of Manitoba.

 

The following is the judgment delivered by

 

1                                   The Court -- We agree with the conclusions set out in the reasons of Rothstein J., the umpire, CUB-44824, as affirmed by Décary J.A. for the Federal Court of Appeal (2000), 73 C.R.R. (2d) 196.

 

2                                   As in R. v. Plant, [1993] 3 S.C.R. 281, there was no violation of s. 8  of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms  on the facts of this case.  We conclude that the appellant cannot be said to have held a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to the disclosed portion of the E-311 Customs Information which outweighed the Canada Unemployment Insurance Commission’s interest in ensuring compliance with self-reporting obligations of the Unemployment Insurance benefit program.

 

3                                   Neither was there a breach of the appellant’s mobility rights under s. 6(1)  of the Charter .


 

4                                   We would dismiss the appeal.

 

Appeal dismissed.

 

Solicitors for the appellant:  Gowling Lafleur Henderson, Ottawa.

 

Solicitor for the respondent:  The Attorney General of Canada, Ottawa.

 

Solicitor for the intervener the Attorney General for Ontario:  The Attorney General for Ontario, Toronto.

 

Solicitor for the intervener the Attorney General of Quebec:  The Attorney General of Quebec, Sainte‑Foy.

 

Solicitor for the intervener the Attorney General of Manitoba:  The Attorney General of Manitoba, Winnipeg.

 

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