[ 163] The respondent and intervenor support the conclusion of
the motion judge that s. 258.1(2) does not bar disclosure of the
rolling log, as anonymized, to an accused charged with drug-impaired operation.
[ 164] The respondent agrees, as she did in the courts below,
that the purpose of s. 258.1(1) and (2) is to protect the personal
privacy of persons who have been evaluated by a DRE or their
bodily samples analyzed by a toxicologist. But she argues that the
protection of personal privacy is not absolute. The evaluation and
test results and samples are taken for use in open court. The
information collected may be disclosed to provincial bodies who
enforce and regulate highway traffic laws and for others for
statistical or research purposes.
[ 165] According to the respondent, the fundamental divide
between the parties is the extent to which s. 258.1(2) limits the
right to disclosure to safeguard personal privacy. The respondent
says that the section permits disclosure for any impaired operation proceeding but restricts disclosure for collateral uses outside
the court system. The limitation is scarcely a statutory disclosure
regime; rather, it is a specific prohibition on the use of samples
and the disclosure of the results of analyses.
[ 166] The respondent contends that the motion judge’s interpretation did not amount to statutory nullification. His interpretation that the section permitted disclosure in any enumerated
impaired operation proceedings, but not incidental or outside
disclosure, was grounded on the purpose and context of the
provision, not that Parliament’s privacy concerns could be side-stepped by redaction.
[ 167] In the respondent’s submission, the motion judge’s interpretation of the English language version of s. 258.1 was correct
and not undermined by the text of the French language version,
which formed no part of the submissions or analysis below. The
principles of bilingual statutory interpretation involve two steps.
The first involves an examination of the provisions to determine
whether a discordance exists between them. If the sections can be
read harmoniously, the harmonious interpretation prevails. On
the other hand, where the different linguistic meanings cannot be
reconciled, a court must rely on other statutory interpretation
principles, at the same time keeping in mind that Canadian
courts favour a purposive and contextual approach.
[ 168] When the sections are read as a whole in both official languages, no discordance arises. But even if there were ambiguity,
the respondent contends, other principles of statutory interpretation support the broad meaning she advances. Principles like the
presumption against absurd consequences, such as frustration of