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Top Five 2004: Harper v Canada (AG)

Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.

Harper v Canada (AG), 2004 SCC 33, [2004] 1 SCR 827

The leader of the federal party with the third highest number of seats in the House of Commons at time, Stephen Harper, challenged Canada’s election law that limited third party advertising spending.  A majority of the Supreme Court of Canada determined that this law violated the freedom of expression of the third party, but that this infringement was justified as it helped ensure electoral fairness.  The Supreme Court of Canada also differentiated between freedom of expression and the right to vote. The full decision is available here.


Date Produced: 2004

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