Torys recently intervened on behalf of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) in the case of City of Vancouver v. Alan Cameron Ward, an important case on Charter remedies that was argued before the Supreme Court of Canada on January 18, 2010.
The appeal raises the question of whether a person whose constitutional rights have been violated can recover monetary damages against the government, even when the government agents who committed the breach did not act in bad faith, abuse their power or engage in tortious conduct. The CCLA intervened to argue that damages should be available in such cases where necessary to provide full and effective vindication of the Charter right that was infringed.
The plaintiff/respondent in the case, Mr. Ward, is a Vancouver lawyer whom police arrested and strip-searched – and whose car was seized – after he was mistakenly identified as a person planning to throw a pie at Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in 2002. The Supreme Court has the matter under reserve.