For Immediate Release
Ontario Court Rules in Favour of Guelph & Area Right to Life over Bus Advertisements on City of Guelph Buses
GUELPH, ONTARIO, January 27, 2022:
On Wednesday, January 26, 2022, the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favour of Guelph & Area Right to Life in their judicial review challenging the City of Guelph.
Following complaints received by the City of Guelph regarding advertisements on City buses posted on behalf of Guelph & Area Right to Life, the City removed 3 advertisements based entirely on a decision made by Advertising Standards Canada, a national non-profit self-regulatory body.
Subsequently, Guelph & Area Right to Life submitted applications for judicial review arguing that the City’s decision to remove its advertisements since it violates one’s rights to freedom of expression as indicated in section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Guelph & Area Right to Life also argued that the City “improperly fettered its discretion by delegating the decision-making process to Ad Standards” (Guelph and Area Right to Life v. City of Guelph, 2022 ONSC 43).
Following the consideration of the Court, the conclusion below was made:
“For the reasons below, we agree with the applicant that the City’s decisions are unreasonable because the City did not engage in the balancing exercise required by the Doré/Loyola test. This does not mean that the City is required to post the applicant’s advertisements. Rather, the matter is remitted back to the City to be decided in accordance with the requisite analysis” (Guelph and Area Right to Life v. City of Guelph, 2022 ONSC 43).
The members of Guelph & Area Right to Life are pleased to receive this ruling since it not only affirms the Charter rights of this group but of all pro-life groups in Canada.”We are ecstatic! This is a big win for us locally and the Canadian Pro-Life movement. We thank Carol Crosson for all the amazing work she did in this case, as well as the various intervenors who took an interest in our legal action and spoke in our defence. We look forward to sharing life-affirming messages in our city once again”, said Kristin Swaving, President of Guelph & Area Right to Life.