Titus Gregory, who blogs at www.studentunion.ca, today posted most of the court documents from the Supreme Court of British Columbia in the matter of Society of the Douglas Students’ Union v. Douglas College. He paid over $300 in photocopy costs in order to obtain these documents which are of great interest to students across Canada.
Global News reported back in the fall allegations that the Canadian Federation of Students Services provided funds in the form of a loan or advance to the DSU during a time when serious questions were being raised about the financial management of the DSU. Global relied upon documents including a forensic audit of the DSU in 2006 by Blair Mackay Mynett Valuations Inc.
The CFS has denied loaning the money. Global was a little unclear about whether the allegations were that the money was loaned from the CFS, CFS Services, or CFS BC.
All the documents that Mr. Gregory obtained are available here: http://www.studentunion.ca/dsu_case/
I must note that access to court documents is expensive and so is the cost of access to the administration of justice. A group of University of Ottawa students recented filed suit against their school in small claims courts. CBC News reported they had their filing fee of $75 waived by the court because of their low income. I know that increased my confidence in the justice system.
Governments should look into making the cost of obtaining court documents must affordable. One of the most important foundations of a justice system in a democratic society is transparency. Cost cannot be allowed to make the justice system lack transparency.