Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre v. Charbonneau, 2017 BCCA 395 sets aside an injunction obtained by the Vancouver Aquarium against documentary film maker Gary Charbonneau and Evotion Films Inc. The interlocutory injunction had prohibited publication of some parts of a documentary video that criticizes the Aquarium’s practice of keeping cetaceans in captivity. The Court of Appeal held that the decision granting the injunction wrongly failed to consider the Charter-protected right to free expression. The Court of Appeal affirmed that “any attempt to restrict th[is] right must be subjected to the most careful scrutiny”. The Court also criticized the evidential basis for the injunction, finding that there was not “a shred of evidence” to support the Aquarium’s contention that it would suffer irreparable harm, were the injunction not granted.
Ethos Law Group LLP represented the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association in the appeal.