Saturday, March 28, 2009

B.C. Supreme Court strikes down gag law.

British Columbia's Supreme Court struck down some of the province's laws limiting third-party spending on advertising outside of the writ period.
Justice Frank Cole told lawyers involved in the case Friday he will release a written ruling on Monday that will lift all restrictions from third-party advertisers from now until the writs of election are issued on April 14.
Between April 14 and election day May 12, third-party advertisers are expected still to be allowed to spend up to $150,000 each.
The so-called gag law "was found unconstitutional," said lawyer Joe Arvay, who challenged the law on behalf of a group of labour unions.
It's very unfortunate that the restrictions weren't lifted during the writ period. These laws are an affront to freedom of speech in Canada. This is why Stephen Harper took on Canada back in the day to fight the national election gag law brought in by Chretien. He won in 2000 but lost in 2004, and unfortunately his government hasn't moved to scrap or alter a law that gives politicians the only real voice during an election campaign.
Still, a victory is a victory, even if it's incomplete. B.C. residents have reason to celebrate today.
Cross-posted to The Shotgun.

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