Supreme Court of Canada decision on Election Act expected this Thursday

JANUARY 20, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada to hand down decision on striking down ban on unregistered speech in BC’s election law on Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ottawa, January 20, 2017 – On Thursday, January 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada will hand down its decision on the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association’s Charter challenge to protect freedom of expression during elections in British Columbia.

The challenge was launched in 2013 when we asked the court to strike down provisions that require everyone to register with Elections BC before undertaking “election advertising” during a provincial election – even if they spend little or no money. This absolute ban on unregistered expression violates Charter right to freedom of expression.

BC FIPA’s position is that this law, which forces people who have spent little or nothing to register with the government before engaging in political expression, infringes upon the right to free expression guaranteed by section 2(b) of the Charter. Failure to register could mean up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

FIPA again thanks lawyers Sean Hern and Alison Latimer of Farris Vaughan, who have represented FIPA pro bono in this case.