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Top Five 2009: Canadian Federation of Students v Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority

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.

Canadian Federation of Students v Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority – British Columbia Component, 2009 SCC 31, [2009] 2 SCR 295

This case dealt with whether a regulation banning “political” advertisements on buses violated freedom of expression under s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The Supreme Court of Canada first determined that BC Transit was an agent of the government, and therefore, the Charter applied to their actions and policies.  Next, the Supreme Court held that BC Transit’s policy banning political advertisements on buses was a violation and unjustified limit on freedom of speech.  The full decision is available here.

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