McNeil Case

McNeil Case G. McNeil, a journalist who wanted to see a film (Last Tango in Paris) banned in his province (NS) by a provincial regulatory body, challenged the constitutionality of the provincial Theatres and Amusement Act.

McNeil Case

McNeil Case G. McNeil, a journalist who wanted to see a film (Last Tango in Paris) banned in his province (NS) by a provincial regulatory body, challenged the constitutionality of the provincial Theatres and Amusement Act. The Supreme Court of Canada, in a divided decision, ruled that the provincial measure was valid. In its opinion, this local control over the film was justified by the Constitution Act, 1867 (s92.13 and s92.16). The court distinguished between criminality and provincial interest in morality. A provincial Act that establishes standards of decency is not necessarily an infringement on criminal law. According to Mr Justice Ritchie, tastes and mores may vary from region to region and the decision about what is morally acceptable to the public may be considered a matter of local and private nature.