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James Risdon James Risdon

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Judge refuses to hear Toronto mayoral candidate’s case against media org that wouldn’t run her ads

James Risdon James Risdon

TORONTO, Ontario, October 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Tuesday was a bad day on the campaign trail for  Toronto mayoral candidate Faith Goldy with an Ontario Superior Court of Justice throwing out her case against Bell Media for failing to carry her ads. 

"It would seem that our whole system is rigged, and the justice in charge of hearing our case has decided to toss our case," said Goldy in a video posted on Youtube

Although Judge Peter Cavanagh acknowledged the court did have jurisdiction "in rare circumstances such as those that involve a truly dire emergency", he decided to not exercise his jurisdiction due to the circumstances of Goldy's case.

“I do not hold that the Superior Court of Justice would not have residual jurisdiction to grant an injunction in rare circumstances such as those that involve a truly dire emergency, even where a statutory tribunal has exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter of the injunction. I declined to exercise such jurisdiction in the circumstances of this case,” ruled the judge. 

Instead, he noted in his decision Goldy should have the case heard by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the regulatory body which governs broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

But Goldy has rejected the idea of appealing Bell Media's refusal to carry her campaign's ads to the CRTC which she described in her video as "a socialist brick of the rear end of Canada's broadcasting structure."

"What they basically do is defend broadcasters. They strike up tribunals among all these CEOS who work for Rogers - who also turned down our ads by the way - Telus, etc., big telecoms, and they all get together and they're supposed to give us a fair trial, a fair hearing," she said.

"Well, I'm not interested in taking more of our donors' money and going to a kangaroo court where the bench is stacked against us."

According to the mayoral candidate, the issues in her case before the court included matters related to freedom of speech and the fairness of electoral processes which could not be properly addressed by the CRTC. 

She also suggested the regulatory body would not be able to hear her case in a timely manner given that election day is October 22. 

In the wake of the judge's decision, the mayoral candidate lashed out, claiming "these are not fair and free elections."

She also claimed there was prejudice by the judge in her case.

"This is the state of democracy right now; $50,000 is what it cost just to have our initial arguments heard. And then, we had it all tossed out," she said. 

In a previous video, Goldy laid out her case, claiming that almost two weeks after she handed Bell Media a cheque for about $13,125 to run her ads, a representative for the broadcaster called her back to refuse them.

In what appeared in the video to be a recorded phone conversation with a Bell Media employee referred to only as "Adam", Goldy was told the company would not be able to run the ads.

"I'm sorry we'll not be able to run the ads. We're very sorry for the inconvenience," the voice at the other end of the phone repeated several times.

Bell Media, which describes itself on its website as “Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media," did not return a media request for comment on the Ontario Superior Court decision.

In this election, Goldy is going head-to-head with incumbent Mayor John Tory. She blames him for her campaign ads being allegedly refused by Bell Media. 

Her rationale runs like this.

While mayor, Tory supported Bell Canada, Bell Media's parent company, by lobbying Ottawa to allow it to operate without direct competition in Toronto, counter to a CRTC decision to increase competition. 

Afterward, Tory worked closely with Bell Canada to help it with a $1.14 billion infrastructure project, her video on YouTube claims.

"We are being banned by John Tory's friends in the corporate media. Is this democracy or are Toronto's elites engineering our election?" Goldy asked.

According to Goldy's video, the alleged refusal by Bell Media to run her campaign ads could be a violation of CRTC guidelines. 

On its website, the CRTC clearly states broadcasters must be "equitable" in their treatment of political candidates. 

"If a broadcaster sells advertising time to one candidate or party, other candidates and parties must also be given the opportunity to buy commercial airtime from that same broadcaster," reads the CRTC website. 

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