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Keith Fraser, Published Dec 21, 2022

B.C.’s highest court has dismissed an appeal by Postmedia, meaning a trial in which anonymous “named persons” sued the Attorney General of Canada will remain secret.

The appeal by Postmedia, which publishes the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers, was heard in October before a panel consisting of B.C. Court of Appeal Chief Justice Robert Bauman, Justice David Frankel and Justice Anne MacKenzie.

The secret trial came to light in June when a Postmedia reporter went to a Vancouver courtroom where a case identified as Named Persons v. Attorney General of Canada was on the docket.

According to the docket, a six-week trial was about to begin but one of the lawyers in the courtroom said there was a publication ban on the case and noted that the court file had been sealed.

Before the arrival of the trial judge, B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson, a court clerk handed a notice to the sheriff, who advised the reporter that the case was going in camera.

The reporter checked with the court registry to confirm whether the whole file was sealed. The registry declined to provide any details. Similar attempts by a Postmedia lawyer to find out information failed.

In a brief statement posted Wednesday, the court indicated it anticipated that its statement would be updated later.

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