Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday January 22, 2020
Prince Harry and Meghan’s arrival could mean ‘new grounds’ for Canada’s privacy laws
British paparazzi may soon come face-to-face with Canada’s privacy laws as the arrival of Prince Harry and Meghan has already prompted a warning to the U.K press to back off or face legal action.
But it’s unclear what legal recourse the royal couple will have to keep news photographers away from their family.
David Fraser, a Halifax-based privacy lawyer, says, when it comes to privacy claims in Canada, he hasn’t found any related to celebrities and paparazzi.
The lawsuits here that relate to invasions of privacy, most recently, deal with large-scale business data breaches, or hidden cameras, he said.
“So this is relatively new grounds that we’re looking at, maybe because we don’t have the same sort of paparazzi culture or the same sort of celebrity culture in Canada. But so far, a claim like this has not been made or at least hasn’t gone to a published decision,” he said.
“It’s not something that’s really been tested a whole lot in Canada. We don’t have a paparazzi culture.”
Buckingham Palace announced Saturday that the prince and his wife will give up public funding and try to become financially independent. The couple is expected to spend most of their time in Canada while maintaining a home in England near Windsor Castle in an attempt to build a more peaceful life.
Video from Sky News showed Harry landing at Victoria’s airport late Monday. The prince, Meghan and their eight-month-old son Archie were reportedly staying at a mansion on the island.
Lawyers for the couple sent a letter to British new outlets, accusing photographers of “harassment,” and claiming that paparazzi have permanently camped outside their Vancouver Island residence, attempting to photograph them at home using long-range lenses.
They also allege that pictures of Meghan — on a hike with Archie and her two dogs, trailed by her security detail, on Vancouver Island on Monday — were taken by photographers hiding in the bushes.
“There are serious safety concerns about how the paparazzi are driving and the risk to life they pose,” the letter read.
When it comes to privacy issues in Canada, there are a few ways Canadians can take action, says Iain MacKinnon, a Toronto-based lawyer. (Continued: Toronto Star)