Human Resources Legislative Update
New SPPA Amendment Restricts the Recording and Dissemination of Tribunal Hearings
Date: June 9, 2021
On June 3, 2021, the amendment to the Statutory Powers Procedure Act (SPPA) that makes it an offence to record or publish a tribunal hearing came into force. This amendment – as set out in a new section 29 to the SPPA – was included in Ontario’s Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021 which received Royal Assent on June 3, 2021. Similar restrictions on recording court proceedings exist under the Courts of Justice Act.
Section 29 of the SPPA imposes a prohibition on activities related to the recording of proceedings to which the SPPA applies. This includes taking or attempting to take a photograph, audio or video recording:
- at a hearing,
- of any person entering or leaving the room in which a hearing is to be or has been convened, or
- of any person in the building in which a hearing is to be or has been convened where there is reasonable grounds to believe the person is there for the purpose of attending or leaving the hearing.
Publishing, broadcasting, or otherwise disseminating a photograph or recording are similarly prohibited.
An individual who contravenes this prohibition is guilty of an offence and if convicted, is liable to a fine of up to $25,000.
Exceptions to the prohibition apply and include the unobtrusive making of notes or sketches of events at a hearing, as well as unobtrusive recordings made by a representative, a party acting on their own behalf or a journalist, if authorized by the tribunal.
The article in this client update provides general information and should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. This publication is copyrighted by Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP and may not be photocopied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP. ©