Cst. MacDonald said he had no grounds to believe the
actual image files would be at either address. He did not know
how they had been uploaded, including whether they were
uploaded from a hard drive or a thumb drive, though he had
reason to believe a thumb drive was involved. He explained that
he would be looking for what he called “artifacts”, which he
described as electronic footprints left behind by the use of
a computer. There are different kinds of artifacts that may be
found in different locations on a computer. The type of artifacts
and their location depends in part on the type of computer and
its operating system. How long these artifacts remain depends
on many factors such as the hard drive size, user activity, the
type of artifact and so forth. Some artifacts might be currently
used and saved in the current operating system. Cst. MacDonald
indicated he was primarily interested in any activity of [information omitted]@ hotmail.com. He said that until he executed
the search warrant, he did not know what technologies were used
and for what specific artifacts he should even look.
 The cross-examination culminated with counsel putting to
Cst. MacDonald that, at the time he prepared the application for
the search warrant, he did not know what the chances were that
he was going to find artifacts on the appellant’s computer. Cst.
MacDonald agreed, saying he would have to speculate on user
activity, hard drive size and other factors that he would not know
before the search.
 The trial judge found it was speculative that artifacts
would be found at the time of the search, as some seven to
eight months had elapsed from the time of the uploading to the
execution of the warrant.
 The trial judge summarized the import of Cst.
MacDonald’s cross-examination by saying “[a]t the time of drafting, he had no idea of any of this, of the usage, of the systems, etc.
Nor, he had no idea as to the chances the artifacts on the computer
would be there seven to eight months later. He couldn’t say, he
said if he tried it was speculation.” The trial judge concluded that
speculation was well below the standard for reasonable and
probable grounds to believe that evidence would be found at the
The SCAJ’s conclusion
 Despite Cst. MacDonald’s lack of detailed knowledge as to
what would or could be found on the appellant’s computer
equipment, and the delay of seven to eight months, the SCAJ
concluded there were sufficient grounds on which the warrant
could have been issued. The SCAJ found [at para. 135] the trial