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Constitutional Roundtable on City of Toronto et al. v. Ontario
November 9, 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Asper Centre Webinar on City of Toronto et al. v. Ontario
The David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights’ Constitutional Roundtable Series presents
A panel discussion on the Charter challenge to Ontario legislation reducing the number of wards in the City of Toronto’s 2018 municipal election more than half-way through the election period
on Tuesday November 9, 2021 at 12h30 EST
Well into the Toronto municipal election in 2018, the Ontario government passed the Better Local Government Act, 2018 reducing Toronto City Council to 25 seats from its original 47. A number of individuals, including candidates in the 47-ward election, challenged the legislation, as did the City of Toronto. It was argued that cancelling a democratic election more than halfway through the election period breached the Charter’s guarantee of freedom of expression, without justification. The challenge was successful at the Superior Court but failed at the Court of Appeal. Toronto appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada and, in a deeply divided 5 to 4 decision released on October 1, 2021, the Court upheld the Act. The panel will discuss the differing views of the majority and dissenting judges and the implications for constitutional litigation and freedom of expression claims more generally.
Geetha Philipupillai, Goldblatt Partners LLP, counsel for the intervener Canadian Civil Liberties Association in the SCC appeal
Lorraine Weinrib, Professor Emerita at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and a specialist in constitutional law and litigation
Alexi Wood, St. Lawrence Barristers LLP, counsel for the Asper Centre in its intervention at the OCA and the SCC
The panel will be moderated by Lillianne Cadieux-Shaw, St. Lawrence Barristers LLP, co-counsel for the Asper Centre in its intervention at the SCC.