Law prohibiting election misinformation struck down

DM

Court ruled it was an unjustified restriction on free speech. A key section of Canada’s elections law designed to curb misinformation during elections has been struck down and declared unconstitutional. In a 15-page decision, Ontario Superior Court Justice Breese Davies ruled that the section is an unjustifiable restriction on Canadians’ right to free speech. While the federal government had asked the court to suspend the ruling for 12 months, Davies ruled that it takes effect immediately. “I recognize that if I decline to suspend the declaration of invalidity, there is a risk that a federal election might be called before Parliament can enact a replacement to s. 91 of the CEA (Canada Election Act), should it wish to do so,” Davies wrote in the judgment dated Feb. 19.

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