The Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal from a former town councillor's conviction for disobeying a court order by posting comments on social media.
Ms. MacKinnon was originally charged with defamatory libel under s. 301 of the Criminal Code for derogatory remarks she posted on Facebook about certain Town employees, but that charge was stayed after she consented to a peace bond in 2012.
The Court Order in question read as follows: "During the term of this Order, any future postings by you on any social media website or other public comment or forum regarding [the Town officials] shall be civil and temperate."
In 2014 Ms. MacKinnon was convicted of breaching the peace bond when she made further public comments about Town employees on social media that were "neither civil nor temperate." At trial, a challenge regarding the constitutionality of s. 301 of the Criminal Code was raised, but ultimately rejected by the Judge who found that Ms. MacKinnon's social media comments breached the Court Order and that she had no lawful excuse for doing so.
This case is a cautionary tale for elected officials.
Cynthia Karen MacKinnon v. Her Majesty the Queen, 2017 CanLII 53390 (SCC)— 2017-08-17 Supreme Court of Canada - Applications for Leave — Canada (Federal) rejetée — dismissed — motion — radiation — leave The application for leave to appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Alberta (Calgary), Number 1701-0008-A, 2017 ABCA 93 (CanLII), dated March 20, 2017, is dismissed. La demande d'autorisation d'appel de l'arrêt de la Cour d'appel de l'Alberta (Calgary), numéro 1701-0008-A, 2017 ABCA 93 (CanLII), daté du 20 mars 2017, est rejetée.