Posted Thursday September 5, 2019

Carbon Tax

CCLA Takes Ontario Government to Court on Compelled Political Messages

Yesterday the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) filed its legal challenge to the mandatory anti-carbon tax gas stickers required by Ontario law, failing which gas retailers will be fined up to $10,000 per day.

The government stickers direct consumers to a website to read about how the Ontario government has a “better way” of fighting climate change.

“The provincial government can engage in a war of words with the federal government over the carbon tax, but it cannot use the threat of fines to conscript private businesses to take up its cause,” says Cara Zwibel, Director of the Fundamental Freedoms Program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

CCLA’s claim argues that the law violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ protection of freedom of expression. Forcing retailers to post a particular, government-mandated message about a political issue, particularly just prior to a federal election, is compelled speech that is not reasonable and cannot be justified by any compelling government objective.

The CCLA is represented by Sandra Barton and Steven Sofer of Gowlings LLP in Toronto.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to protect the rights and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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