Police investigation: 1, Journalist sources: 0

Ontario’s highest court has set the interest of police criminal investigations above the need of journalists to protect confidential sources, in a ruling against the National Post (and the Globe and Mail and CBC as intervenors). In a case involving former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and Andrew McIntosh’s reports of business dealings connected to a hotel and golf club in Chretien’s
riding, the court ordered the Post to turn over documents sent by a confidential source.

Noted the court ruling: “The main issue requires that we resolve a clash between two competing
interests: the interest of the police and the Crown in investigating and
prosecuting a serious crime; and the interest of the National Post and
one of its journalists in protecting the identity of a confidential source,” said the written decision.

The decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal is online, here. A National Post breaking news story is here.

The controversial ruling will, I expect, be appealed.