Nova Scotia

Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear Air Canada crash case

The Air Canada jet crashed at the Halifax international airport in March 2015.

Group of passengers want the Transportation Safety Board to release cockpit voice recordings and transcripts

The plane's nose broke off, as did one of the engines when it crashed on March 29, 2015. (Reuters)

Canada's highest court has agreed to hear an appeal in the case of an Air Canada jet that crashed at Halifax's Stanfield International Airport in March 2015.

More than two dozen people were injured when Air Canada flight 624 crashed at the airport in the midst of a snowstorm.

Some of the passengers have launched a class-action lawsuit against several parties, including the airline, Air Canada; the two pilots flying the Airbus 320 that night; its manufacturer, Airbus; the Halifax International Airport Authority; and Nav Canada, the corporation that operates Canada's civil air navigation system.

The respondents and passengers all want the release of the cockpit voice recordings that were recovered from the crash. Those recordings are held by the Transportation Safety Board, the government agency that investigated the crash. 

The TSB is opposed to releasing the recordings and their transcripts, asserting its statutory right to keep such materials confidential. It took the matter to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, where it lost.

It appealed that decision to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, and ultimately lost there as well. The courts found that the public interest in the administration of justice outweighed the statutory rights of the TSB.

Now the agency has persuaded the Supreme Court of Canada to hear its arguments as to why the recordings should not be released to the parties in this lawsuit.

No date for a hearing has been set, but in announcing that it was willing to hear the case, the Supreme Court of Canada said it should be dealt with on an expedited basis.



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