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Ottawa, April 10, 2002 - The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, George Radwanski, today released the following opinion by former Supreme Court Justice Gérard La Forest regarding video surveillance by the RCMP in Kelowna and video surveillance of public streets in general. Until his retirement in 1997, Justice La Forest was the Supreme Court's leading expert in privacy issues.

In the opinion, Justice La Forest states that the Commissioner's "findings in the Kelowna case are reasonable, logical, and supportable in law and policy."

He states that: "There is therefore little question that the Solicitor General has the authority to regulate the RCMP's use of video surveillance."

In analyzing the Constitutional implications of general video surveillance of public streets by police forces anywhere in Canada, Justice La Forest concludes: "It is my view that the type of video surveillance employed in Kelowna, with or without continuous recording, violates section 8 of the Charter."

Please find Justice La Forest's opinion, in its entirety, attached.

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For more information, contact:

Anne-Marie Hayden
Media Relations
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
Tel.: (613) 995-0103

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