Torstar (Again) Blocks Release of Evidence in Conspiracy Case

Fighting words: Feds rip news giant’s secrecy request; court reseals documents.

Federal regulators and a Canadian newspaper giant engaged in a war of words over whether to keep words secret.

Torstar, whose lawyers usually argue for more information access, wants words by company insiders kept from public view. The Competition Bureau fiercely fought back. Torstar has won for now.

But the legal exchange shows how strenuously Torstar’s lawyers are battling to keep secret information in documents scooped up by investigators in office searches connected to the Competition Bureau’s criminal investigation of the company under conspiracy provisions of the Competition Act.

The exchange shows, too, that the Competition Bureau is willing to slam Torstar with unusually disparaging language, according to an expert.

Canada’s largest newspaper companies, Torstar and Postmedia, are alleged to have broken competition laws after their exchange of 41 newspapers across the country in 2017, later shutting nearly all of them down and cutting 291 jobs.

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