The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld a provision of B.C.’s election advertising law.
At the heart of the issue is part of the B.C. election act that requires anyone who wants to display ads in the form signs, boards, and even bumper stickers to register their personal information with the Chief Electoral Officer, even if it didn’t cost a penny.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association argued registration requirements silences voices of marginalized people who want a say in politics.
The province’s freedom of Information and Privacy Association asked the court to impose a $500 threshold before the law would kick in.
In today’s ruling, the Supreme Court says the provision does not cover personal expressions, like posting a sign or wearing a t-shirt with a political slogan.
Laura Track with the BC Civil Liberties Association says overall, they are pleased with the court’s decision.
“The registration requirement only applies to sponsors of election advertising, and that’s a real victory for freedom of speech and freedom of political expression in this province.”
If you fail to register before displaying ads you could be fined up to $10,000 or spend a year behind bars.
B.C. is the only province the does not have such a threshold.
The challenge was launched in 2013.
With files from Estefania Duran