My recent comments on Advocate Daily about this [see the whole story here: Police concerns unfounded, alarmist] seem more timely now that Canadian police chiefs say that the federal Department of Justice is weighing how to get around the Supreme Court’s ruling that police need a warrant to obtain subscriber data linked to online activities [See the Star report here]

Before the more recent Advocate Daily piece on this, I first voiced suspicion about police complaints that they were hindered by the Supreme Court’s Ruling here. The more recent Advocate Daily piece is here: Police concerns unfounded, alarmist. It starts with:

Toronto criminal lawyer Graham Clark says it’s not at all surprising that documents now reveal that a Supreme Court of Canada decision that put an end to police routinely asking telecoms to hand over customer data without a warrant hasn’t hindered the RCMP’s ability to do their work.

An internal RCMP survey of officers that was conducted months after R. v. Spencer, 2014 SCC 43 — a ruling that limits the police ability to access personal information without a warrant — says the high court’s decision has had no “significant negative effects” on operations, reports the Toronto Star.

While the documents show a general sentiment within the force that Spencer would cause investigative delays, only 18 per cent of the officers who responded said they had any difficulty obtaining a production order for sensitive information they had previously obtained without a warrant, says the newspaper.

The files were obtained by The Star under access to information law.

Before the details of the survey were released, the RCMP publicly said Spencer was hampering their ability to track down pedophiles and child sex abusers.

“When the May 2015 claims were made, I was concerned that they were not entirely real but more in the nature of political rhetoric in which the courts — and the Charter of Rights — are demonized as frustrating decent police officers who are just trying to protect us all,” Clark tells

Now that the RCMP’s own data indicates that the SCC ruling has had no chilling effect on these types of investigations, he says it indicates that the police comments were unfounded and alarmist.

[see the whole story here: Police concerns unfounded, alarmist]