Ontario public school teachers are protected from unreasonable searches: top court

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says Ontario public school board teachers have a Charter-protected right against unreasonable search and seizure in the workplace.

The top court's decision comes today in the case of two teachers who were reprimanded after discovery of a digital log about their work-related concerns.

The case began in the 2014-15 school year when a Grade 2 teacher in York Region began keeping the personal, password-protected log.

The school's principal took screenshots of the log, and they were used by the school board to discipline the teachers.

The union filed a grievance about written reprimands issued to the teachers, saying the board breached their privacy rights.

An arbitrator dismissed the grievance, a decision that was upheld by an Ontario court but later overturned by the province's Court of Appeal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press