no need to declare a political t-shirt, but court upholds election spending law
Laws that force people to register before sponsoring political advertising during provincial elections, even if there is little or no money.
But the court\'s 7-
Thursday\'s ruling says the law does not apply to people wearing T-shirts.
Shirts with political slogans or bumper stickers on their cars.
Section 239 of the province\'s electoral law requires campaign advertising sponsors during the campaign to register their names, phone numbers and addresses with B. C.
Chief Electoral Officer
If it is not registered, it may be sentenced to one year\'s imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. The B. C.
The Freedom of Information and Privacy Association challenged the clause, saying it amounted to an absolute ban on unregistered advertising that violated the charter\'s right to freedom of speech.
On 2014, a trial judge found that the provisions of the law in question violated freedom of expression, but that violation was justified under the charter.
Year Two, B. C.
The court of appeal dismissed
The profit Association\'s challenge to the ruling prompted an appeal to the Supreme Court.
In its arguments to the High Court, the association said that the provisions of the electoral law even included the display of a family --
Signs are made on windows or car bumper stickers.
The Association advocates exceptions to those who spend less than $500 on election advertising. The B. C.
The attorney general retorted that the man who raised his hand alone
According to the provisions of the electoral law, posters drawn do not have to be registered.
The Supreme Court agreed in a ruling on Thursday.
\"In my opinion, the bill did not catch the small --
\"The size of election advertising of this nature,\" wrote Chief Justice Beverly mclalin . \".
She said that the electoral law limited the registration requirements to \"sponsors \"--
Individuals and organizations that receive advertising services from others when conducting campaign advertising.
\"Individuals who do not pay to advertise others or receive advertising services for free are not \'sponsors\',\" she wrote \'. \".
\"They can either put a manual logo on the window, or a bumper sticker on the car, or wear T-
Information on the shirt, no registration.
\"Vincent goolick, executive director of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, said that while the high court supports the law, it makes it clear that people who express their personal opinions alone are exempt from tax.
\"I think this is a victory for freedom of speech,\" he said . \".
\"As British columnians, we live much better today than we did yesterday. ” B. C.
The Minister of Justice, Suzanne Anton, said the decision affirmed a system that has been in place for more than 20 years.
\"Of course, it\'s never about T-
\"Shirts or bumper stickers, but it\'s all about knowing who\'s paying for the ads,\" she said . \".
For those who spend less than $500, the law needs exceptions, according to Anton.
\"People can take their slightlyless-than-
Buy ads for $500 so there is no transparency.
No one will know who paid for it.
\"That\'s all about the problem: if there\'s paid ads, the public should be able to know who\'s paying.