OTTAWA, May 18, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Supreme Court of Canada has sanctioned the Liberal Government’s election gag law restricting third party spending during an election campaign to $150,000 nationally or $3,000 in any electoral district. The provision also requires the release of third party organization donors’ names to election officials, for any donations given for election activities. The law seriously restricts the election activities of any advocacy organizations during a federal election as they try to reach the public with information about issues, candidates and parties that the parties would often not want said and Canada’s media often do not report. This freedom has provided at least some balance to the heavily taxpayer subsidized campaigns of the political parties.
The government’s stated purpose for advancing the legislation has been to prevent large, wealthy interests from unduly affecting federal elections. Many advocacy groups, however, have long opposed the Liberal’s repeated attempts over the years to impose such restrictions which would give the parties a monopoly on influencing elections. The advocacy groups have nothing near the multi-million dollar budgets of the parties. “Most recent election campaigns have been driven by the political parties who decide the issues with the public placidly complying”, said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition(CLC) from Toronto. “This decision by the Supreme Court will further erode our precious freedoms in Canada. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right and the Court seems intent on chipping away at our rights one by one.”“What are the politicians afraid of?” asks Karen Murawsky, Public Affairs Director, Campaign Life Coalition. “The public, not the political parties must decide which issues are important to them – the ones they are voting on, not the politicians. An informed and participating electorate is the only protection against governments that dictate policy against the wishes of the people.” The decision conveniently comes in the same week as the Liberal Government is expected to call an election.
See past LifeSiteNews.com articles CHRETIEN GOVERNMENT FIGHTS GAG LAW DECISION https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2003/jan/03012402.html GAG LAW PLACED ON HOLD FOR 2000 ELECTION https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2000/oct/00102407.html