WestlawNext Canada insight Blog

Word of the Week - "Newspaper"



In The King v. Montreal Stock Exchange[1935] 4 D.L.R. 630... a question arose with reference to the use of the word “newspapers” in Sch. III at a time when the quoted words did not appear in Part III ...

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Webster's New International Dictionary may be taken as giving a definition of “newspaper” ... “a paper printed and distributed at stated intervals ... to convey news ... and other matters of public interest.” The sheets in question ... contain not merely a record of transactions ... but also information to those desiring it as to such transactions; and the other items from time to time include give “tidings, new information, fresh events reported” ...

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... when I read the publications that were the subject matter of the decision attacked ... I can see room for the conclusion that they are “newspapers” even though they consist exclusively, or almost exclusively, of advertisements ... they are not mere “advertising circulars” ... they contain information (news) as to what is available in particular fields of commerce, even though such information is conveyed by way of advertising by third parties who have things to sell.

E.W. Bickle Ltd. v. Minister of National Revenue  (Westlaw Canada)

1979 CarswellNat 234 (Fed. C.A.) at para. 3, 8  (WestlawNext Canada)

Jackett C.J.A.)


British Columbia

The issue focuses on the interpretation of the words “in a municipality, regional district or area that is affected by the matter [in the definition of newspaper in s. 1 of the Municipal Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 290].”

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The legislation does not purport to prescribe the minimal extent to which the newspaper must be distributed within the municipality affected.

Put simply, the Surrey/North Delta Now newspaper is distributed in Surrey. In order to be regarded as falling outside the definition of “newspaper” in the Municipal Act, the words “throughout the whole” would have to be judicially grafted.

Pollard v. Surrey (District)  (Westlaw Canada)

1992 CarswellBC 641 (B.C. S.C.) at para. 8, 13, 14  (WestlawNext Canada)

Josephson J.



... in section 1(1) of the [Libel and Slander Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.12], a newspaper must be made of paper, it must be printed and it must be published periodically as specified. As well, as stipulated in section 7 of the Act, the Act applies “only to newspapers printed and published in Ontario”. A website posting does not meet any of these criteria, and therefore, cannot qualify as a “newspaper”.

Shtaif v. Toronto Life Publishing Co. (Westlaw Canada)

2011 CarswellOnt 13166 (Ont. S.C.J.) at para. 17  (WestlawNext Canada)

Matlow J.
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