National Post (Latest Edition)
Judge rules ‘Person X’ should stay anonymous
TORONTO • An unidentified person named in court documents in connection to an alleged bread price-fixing scheme between retailers and goods suppliers has won the right to retain privacy.
The decision from Superior Court Judge Lynn Ratushny follows arguments made by a media consortium in April to unseal redacted paragraphs of a Competition Bureau affidavit that was made partially public in January.
The affidavit formed the basis for four search warrants carried out by Competition Bureau investigators last year at the head offices of suppliers Canada Bread and Weston Bakeries and retailers Loblaw, Sobeys, Metro, Walmart and Giant Tiger.
Lawyer Scott Fenton, who represented a former Canada Bread employee named in the redacted portions and known to the public as “Person X,” argued that without revealing the identity of Person X, the public would still have “a full, robust understanding of the informational basis for the search warrant … (and) prevent prejudice to (Person X) as an innocent person.” Fenton noted no charges have been filed. The judge agreed. “The applicant was not searched as a result of the search warrants,” Ratushny wrote in her decision. “The applicant was an employee of Canada Bread for a small fraction of time of the alleged illegal activity. The applicant is implicated in the alleged price-fixing by one person’s remembrance of one conversation that occurred over a decade earlier. That remembrance remains untested . ... The presumption of innocence prevails.”