CCLA to Challenge Ontario’s “Black Friday” regulation

Statement from Michael Bryant of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

“We have today retained counsel and are preparing to go to court in the coming days, to challenge the Black Friday Regulation 294/21. In particular:

  1. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has retained Anil Kapoor, one of Canada’s leading criminal and constitutional lawyers, to lead a legal team being assembled as we speak, to launch a legal challenge before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, most likely by way of injunction. We expect to argue that Sections 7,8,9 and 15 of the Charter are violated by this regulation, but will not make legal submissions through the media, only to the courts.
  2. We are bringing a challenge as quickly as possible, in order to restore peoples’ freedom from arbitrary police stops. The regulation brings back the odious “driving while black” police stop, and introduces a “walking while black” offence. This is formalized, legalized carding, and that’s unconstitutional.
  3. I can’t tell you how many BIPOC people have contacted me about their fear of what happens when they step outside. Racialized minorities, their organizations and leaders, obviously deserve to speak for themselves on this matter, and it is not for me to speak on their behalf. I can only speak to and fight for our principles and constitutional laws of equality, and it is on that basis that we will seek judicial review of this regulation, in the coming days.
  4. Lastly, we urge the Attorney General of Canada to refer Ontario Reg 294/21 and its enabling legislation to the Supreme Court of Canada, for a constitutional reference on provincial legislation, as has been done from time to time, pursuant to the Supreme Court Act.”

Michael Bryant
Executive Director & General Counsel
Canadian Civil Liberties Association
media@ccla.org

Brenda McPhail
en_CAEnglish (Canada)