The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to set down legal principles today on access to American commercials during the Super Bowl, in a Dec. 19, 2019 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Supreme Court to rule on Super Bowl TV ads, spies in setting review principles

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to set down legal principles today that help settle disparate feuds over Super Bowl TV commercials and whether the sons of Russian spies are actually Canadian.

The common thread? Questions about the nature and scope of judicial review of administrative actions.

In the first case, the top court will rule on whether Canadians should be able to watch keenly anticipated American commercials during the Super Bowl broadcast.

Bell Canada and the National Football League appealed a decision by the federal broadcast regulator to exempt the championship game from the normal practice of substituting domestic ads for U.S. ones on Canadian TV.

In the second case, the Supreme Court will revisit a Federal Court of Appeal ruling that effectively affirmed the Canadian citizenship of Toronto-born Alexander and Timothy Vavilov.

A registrar had originally said the boys’ parents were employees of a foreign government when serving as Russian spies, meaning their children could not be Canadian citizens.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2019.

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