The court hears arguments in case #28020, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited v. Sierra Club of Canada, et al., on November 6, 2001.
In 2001, the Canadian government made a loan of $1.5-billion to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), a Crown corporation, for the sale and construction of nuclear reactors in China. The Sierra Club of Canada, an environmental defence organization, applied for a judicial review of the loan, claiming that an environmental assessment should have taken place before the loan was issued. In the course of the application for judicial review, AECL presented evidence suggesting that an environmental assessment had in fact been conducted. AECL subsequently applied for a confidentiality order that would allow the relevant documents to be disclosed to the parties involved but not to the general public. The confidentiality order did not, however, prevent members of the public from attending the court proceedings in the matter. AECL subsequently asked the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, to grant a confidentiality order that would restrict public access to the documents and to any court proceedings concerning them. The Federal Court denied AECL’s request and AECL is now asking the Supreme Court to decide the matter.
Lawyer Brett Ledger presents arguments on behalf of AECL.