10/30/19 – Toronto – The Ontario Government served the Canadian Civil Liberties Association with their Statement of Defence today, in the Ontario Sticker law challenge by CCLA. Their Defence is that the Ford Government’s sticker does not contain a political message. We disagree.
“With their anti-carbon tax stickers, the Ford Government is sticking it to free speech, by forcing gas owners to stick ‘em up or pay up. That’s unconstitutional compelled speech, because it uses the power of the state to propagate government propaganda, using the powerful legal threat of fining dissenters. So we at CCLA are standing up to their abuse of power by taking them to court,” said CCLA Executive Director Michael Bryant.
Bryant responded to the Statement of Defence in particular, by saying: “does anybody really believe that these stickers aren’t political? Queen’s Park politicians disagree on the federal Liberal carbon tax. The Ford Government tried to make it a wedge issue in their last budget. It was a hot partisan subject throughout 2019. Isn’t that the essence of partisan, political expression? Their actions and partisan rhetoric outside court speak much louder than the words in their Statement of Defence.”
“We’re asking people to join our effort by “filling up on free speech” – donate a tank of gas to the cause of fighting in the courts for fundamental freedoms, through our website, ccla.org“