What is the test for public access to a search warrant?

Canada (Federal), Canada

The following excerpt is from Tipple v. Deputy Head (Department of Public Works and Government Services), 2009 PSLRB 110 (CanLII):

This was made clear in the seminal case of A.G. of Nova Scotia v. MacIntyre, 1982 CanLII 14 (SCC), [1982] 1 S.C.R. 175, 132 D.L.R. (3d) 385. Speaking for the majority of the court, Dickson J. upheld public access to a search warrant and the information upon which it had been issued once the warrant had been successfully executed. In doing so he eloquently described the importance of public accessibility at every stage of the process. The rule should be one of public accessibility, to be departed from only if necessary to protect what he called "social values of superordinate importance", such as the protection of the innocent. As he indicated, this approach fosters both public confidence in the integrity of the court system and public understanding of the administration of justice. At p. 189 S.C.R. of his reasons, he concluded with the following: Undoubtedly every court has a supervisory and protecting power over its own records. Access can be denied when the ends of justice would be subverted by disclosure or the judicial documents might be used for an improper purpose. The presumption, however, is in favour of public access and the burden of contrary proof lies upon the person who would deny the exercise of the right.

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