and arguments advanced about whether those messages were
what they purported to be. It then fell to the trial judge to decide
the weight to attribute to this evidence. The judge decided that
there was not a sufficient evidentiary basis to conclude that the
evidence was what it purported to be: a text message exchange
between D.P. and the appellant C.B.
[ 62] The appellants’ complaint, as the respondent sees it, is
about how the trial judge weighed the evidence. This is a factual
assessment entitled to deference in this court.
The governing principles
[ 63] To determine this ground of appeal requires consideration
of what is involved in the process of authentication; how it may
be established, especially with respect to the subject matter in
issue here; and the roles of the trier of law and the trier of fact in
the authentication process.
[ 64] The requirement of authentication applies to various kinds
of real evidence. Authentication involves a showing by the proponent of the evidence that the thing or item proffered really is
what its proponent claims it to be: Kenneth S. Broun, ed.,
McCormick on Evidence, 7th ed., vol. 2 (Thomson Reuters, 2013),
at § 212, pp. 4-5.
 Authentication is the process of convincing a court that a
thing matches the claim made about it. In other words, it is what
its proponent claims it to be. Authentication is intertwined with
relevance: in the absence of authentication, the thing lacks relevance unless it is tendered as bogus. Thus, authentication
becomes necessary where the item is tendered as real or documentary evidence.
 At common law, authentication requires the introduction
of some evidence that the item is what it purports to be:
R. v. Donald,  N.B.J. No. 7, 121 C.C.C. 304 (C.A.), at p. 306
C.C.C.; R. v. Staniforth,  O.J. No. 1026, 11 C.R. (3d) 84
(C.A.), at p. 89 C.R.; R. v. Hirsch,  S.J. No. 59, 2017 SKCA
14, 353 C.C.C. (3d) 230, at para. 18. The requirement is not
onerous and may be established by either or both direct and
 For electronic documents, s. 31. 1 of the CEA assigns a
party who seeks to admit an electronic document as evidence the
burden of proving its authenticity. To meet this burden, the party
must adduce evidence capable of supporting a finding that the
electronic document is what it purports to be. Section 31. 8 provides an expansive definition of “electronic document”, a term
which encompasses devices by or in which data is recorded or
stored. Under s. 31. 1, as at common law, the threshold to be met