A publication ban on a stabbing victim’s name meant the Star could not report what it had already reported.
By Kathy English for the Toronto Star
For most of this past week, the law prohibited the Star from telling you a critical fact about a stabbing at a condominium complex in Rosedale that it had already reported — and so could easily be found in a Google search.
The absurdity of that is rooted in an Ontario court system that is generally intended to be “open” but is increasingly subject to “discretionary” publication bans that prohibit the media from reporting key facts about criminal proceedings. Further, too often such extraordinary bans are declared without any reason or explanation for veering from Canada’s important “open courts” principle that presumes public access to court proceedings and court documents — and most important, is central to our democracy.
Here’s what happened with this most recent ban, which the Star has spent both time and money challenging in court. I am glad this news organization regards the principles here as worth fighting for, and still has the resources to do so. But I question why this ban was imposed in the first place.
The ban, lifted on Wednesday, had blocked the media from reporting the name of the concierge who was stabbed last week while on his job at a Rosedale condominium complex. I can now tell you that the victim was Mark Markandu, who is in his late 60s and has worked at the complex for more than two decades. He was stabbed multiple times in the torso and underwent surgery.