TORONTO: The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) has achieved a victory for freedom of expression in a case involving a woman in Port Colborne, Ontario, who had been ordered by her town to take down an anti-Trudeau flag she had hung on her house.
In November 2021, the city of Port Colborne ordered a resident named Melissa to take down the flag on the front of her house, which says “F*CK TRUDEAU”. The * is symbolized by a maple leaf.
The Canadian Constitution Foundation worked with counsel and Melissa to challenge the order. In response to this legal action, Port Colborne has now rescinded the order.
“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.
Melissa has expressed her gratitude to the CCF as well as to the people from across Canada who donated to support her case. “I am so happy that the city of Port Colborne has backed own on their attempts to silence me. I’m proud to continue to be able to express my political views, which is my right as a Canadian. The city should never should have tried to stop me, and I am grateful to the Canadian Constitution Foundation for helping me fight back. Thank you so much,” said Melissa.
While counsel worked on this case at a reduced fee, there are still costs associated with this victory. Canadians interested in supporting the case can still donate here.