Supreme Court chides Quebec police for not clarifying informant's status

The Canadian Press
February 22, 2013

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has chided Quebec's provincial police force for failing to clarify the status of an informant involved with biker gangs.

But the high court was split over whether or not the individual was indeed a police informant — and thus entitled to have his or her identify protected — and opted to send the matter back to a lower court for reconsideration.

An individual identified only as B approached an unidentified police force to give information about violent crime, which he or she had been involved in.

The police force promised confidentiality before transferring B to the Surete du Quebec.

B repeatedly asked the Surete du Quebec to clarify his or her status as an informant, but never received a clear answer.

The Supreme Court ruling says the Surete du Quebec's failure to clarify B's status — or to tell B he or she was not a confidential informant — could reasonably lead B to believe his or her identity would be protected.