The Canadian Constitution Foundation supported a Port Colborne resident over a dispute over an anti-Trudeau flag she has displayed on her home.
Melissa is a working mom who was disappointed with the outcome of the September 21, 2021 federal election. The day after the election she decided to express her frustration by hanging a flag on the front of her house. The flag says “F*CK TRUDEAU”. The * is symbolized as a maple leaf. On November 16, 2021 Melissa was surprised to read in a local newspaper that the town was ordering her to take down her flag. A few days later, she received a notice that she would be required to take down the flag for violating a Port Colborne property standards bylaw that states “exterior walls of a dwelling and their components shall be free of unauthorized signs, painted slogans, graffiti and similar defacements.”
Even if some people believe such a political statement to be crass, Canadian citizens have a right to express their political views.
In January 2022, in response to this legal action, Port Colborne has rescinded the order. This is a great free victory for Melissa, the CCF and for all Canadians who value their right to political speech and to be free of the petty authoritarianism sometimes used by local authorities against residents.
“The city of Port Colborne was wrong to ever issue this order, which violated Melissa’s right to freedom of expression. We are pleased that the city has acquiesced under threat of legal action, but no Canadian should ever need to threaten to go to court in order to exercise the rights they are guaranteed under our constitution,” said CCF Litigation Director, Christine Van Geyn. “We hope that Melissa’s situation will serve as an example to other towns and cities, and that citizens across Canada will remain free to express their political views without interference from municipal bureaucrats,” continued Van Geyn.
Defending free speech in Port Colborne
CCF Launch: December 2, 2021
Next Key Date: Closed (VICTORY)
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