A smoker puts out a cigarette in a public ash tray in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Supreme Court of Canada rules against tobacco firm in health data privacy case

The Supreme Court of Canada says British Columbia does not have to give a tobacco company access to detailed provincial health databases.

The Supreme Court of Canada says British Columbia does not have to give a tobacco company access to detailed provincial health databases to ensure the fairness of a multibillion-dollar damages trial.

In a ruling today, the high court says the province cannot legally allow Philip Morris International to see raw data from the information banks.

The decision is the latest development in a 17-year-old effort by B.C. to recoup smoking-related health-care expenditures from tobacco companies.

It could have a countrywide ripple effect, as all 10 provinces have filed legal suits seeking a total of more than $120 billion in damages from tobacco firms.

Some companies agreed to B.C.’s offer of access to health databases that include aggregate data but not individual-level files that the province argued could compromise privacy, even with personal identifiers removed.

Philip Morris, however, took exception and successfully challenged the province’s stance in the B.C. Supreme Court and the decision was upheld by the B.C. Court of Appeal, prompting the province to take its case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Related: Cost of substance use in Canada tops $38 billion, with booze and tobacco on top

Related: Drone delivery of drugs and tobacco intercepted at B.C. prison

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Discontent City expecting decision on injunction tomorrow

Lawyer representing individuals involved with homeless camp says he’ll be advised of judgment

Nanaimo Buccaneers fire 30 shots in one period and win big

Bucs defeat Glacier Kings 7-1 in VIJHL action

Nanaimo United will step on home turf for soccer opener

VISL Div. 1 men plays at Merle Logan Field this Saturday, Sept. 22

Downtown Nanaimo hotel project moving forward

PEG Development submitted an updated permit application for a proposed hotel at 100 Gordon St.

Close to $10,000 worth of tools taken from construction site in Nanaimo

Theft happened overnight Sept. 12-13 on Old Slope Place

VIDEO: International Day of Peace activities planned in Nanaimo

Unity Spiritual Education Centre of Nanaimo planning public walk, labyrinth dedication Sept. 21-22

Candidate lists finalized for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Nomination deadline passes in advance of Oct. 20 local government elections

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 20

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Council reverses past practice, will broadcast meetings during election campaign

Nanaimo city council votes 5-4 to continue with broadcasts

Porsche and Subaru dealerships can proceed with planning in north Nanaimo

City council unanimously allows rezoning application process to move forward

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

‘Little Feet’ book documents B.C. woman’s horrific 2001 accident

Heather Williams has documented the two profound stages before and after the accident

Departure Bay school parents concerned about rotating learning space

Eco-school students being taught in library and picnic areas, say parents

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Most Read