ONSC strikes down law targeting election misinformation

Davies J of the ONSC has ruled in favour of a Charter s. 2(b) challenge to s. 91 of the Canada Election Act. That provision made it an offence to make or publish certain false statements about political and public figures with the intention of affecting election results. Examples of statements captured by the provision are accusations of a criminal record, or alleged dishonesty regarding citizenship or qualifications.

The Privy Council Office has acknowledged the decision but it’s unclear whether the decision will be appealed.

Online free speech is an early frontier of law. Another development to watch is Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s work on legislation targeting hate on social media.



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