After CTV News and other local media outlets asked a judge to allow cameras into an Edmonton courtroom to document the verdict in Travis Vader’s trial, the judge decided to release his decision Tuesday.

On Wednesday, lawyer Fred Kozak, representing CTV News and other Edmonton media outlets, argued for having a camera in the courtroom when the decision in the Travis Vader murder trial is handed down on September 15.

The application asks the judge to also allow media outlets to broadcast the decision online, and on television, live.

“Courtrooms in Alberta are open to the public and allowing a camera into courtrooms is an extension of that open-court principle. Cameras are already permitted in courtrooms in many jurisdictions in Canada and the United States,” Dan Kobe, News Director at CTV Edmonton said.

“This is an ideal case in which to have this discussion. The Travis Vader trial has high public interest and having a live video feed of the proceedings will promote the fairness of the administration of justice by ensuring the public receives an accurate account of the decision.”
Kozak argued having a camera inside the courtroom would benefit the public, and allow more people to have access to the verdict.

“It’s been going on for six years, a huge expenditure of public resources in investigation and prosecution of the long trial, and a huge interest of the outcome,” Kozak said.

Vader is facing first-degree murder charges in connection to the deaths of Lyle and Marie McCann, a couple from St. Albert, last seen in 2010.

Their RV was later found destroyed by fire, but their bodies have never been found.

In court Wednesday, Vader’s lawyer Brian Beresh said he supports the idea of having a camera present for the verdict, but he doesn’t want his client shown.

It’s an idea the family of the victims support.

“The best and highest interaction is the person who can sit in the courtroom and watch things unfold and watch people’s expressions and form their own perceptions and judgements,” Kozak said. “But that isn’t always viable so a livestream broadcast is the next best thing.”

There have been two cases where cameras have been allowed in court, and in another of cases in B.C., Manitoba and Ontario.

Justice Thomas told court Wednesday that his judgement in the case is long, his draft is already at 131 pages. He said he would focus on completing his judgement, and he’ll make a decision on the cameras on Tuesday, September 13.

With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith