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News December 23, 2020

CFE Granted Leave to Intervene in Three Cases Before the Supreme Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal

The  Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal have just granted the Centre for Free Expression the right to intervene in three major cases before them.

“We’re honoured that Canada’s top courts have allowed the Centre to serve as a friend of the court to bring potentially useful perspectives to the courts’ deliberations on important cases,” said James L. Turk, Director of the Centre.

Leave to intervene was granted to the Centre and co-applicants today by the Ontario Court of Appeal over the objections of the Ontario Government with respect to its appeal of a lower court decision quashing the province’s order that Ontario universities must allow students to opt-out of “fees related to student associations” and other “ancillary fees.” 

The effect of that directive was to undermine student associations and their ability to advocate for students, student newspapers and radio stations, and student services, such as health and dental insurance, wellness centres, free legal advice, off-campus assistance and access to food and supplies through a food support centre.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada granted the Centre the right to intervene in the City of Toronto’s appeal of a decision that upheld the right of the Ontario Government to change the number and boundaries of city council seats in the midst of the municipal election, raising questions of expressive freedom and misapplication of the Charter.

The day before, the Supreme Court granted the Centre plus several co-applicants intervener status in an appeal by the CBC regarding the open court principle and publication bans.

The Centre’s submissions on all three cases are available on its website.