This is sounding like a broken record… BC government laws are again unconstitutional. Democracy needs voices of dissent not a gag law. We all need the right to associate and communicate as we see fit not just popular or government friendly.
“Gag law” still ruled unconstitutional
Teachers are welcoming yesterday’s BC Court of Appeal ruling that Bill 42, the so called “gag law” limiting third party advertising prior to provincial election campaigns, is unconstitutional. Yesterday’s unanimous decision upholds an earlier BC Supreme Court ruling in a case brought forward by the BC Teachers’ Federation and three other public sector unions.
“This is a win not only for the BCTF and our partners in this case, but for all British Columbians,” said BCTF President Susan Lambert. “Yesterday’s ruling reasserts for all of us the right to freedom of expression and full participation in the public and political dialogue of our province.”
You will recall that Bill 42, the “gag law,” brought in by the Campbell government in May 2008, defined election advertising verybroadly to include transmitting to the public, by any means, a message that takes a position on an issue with which a party or candidate is associated. The law imposed severe restrictions on such advertising for a total of 88 days before a provincial election and threatened harsh penalties. The provisions of Bill 42 remain in effect only during the 28-day campaign period.
“This ruling reaffirms the rights of British Columbian’s to speak out” said Susan Lambert. “Once again, actions of this government have been found to be unconstitutional and against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
Never confuse the special devices that connect us, with the precious moments that keep us together.