FC: Canadian Supreme Court recognizes free speech may be a good idea

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 10:02:35 PST

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    ----- Forwarded message from owner-politechat_private -----
    From: "Michael Gurstein" <mgurstat_private>
    To: "Politech@Politechbot. Com" <politechat_private>
    Subject: FW: [CPI-UA]: Important free speech decision Supreme Court 
    Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2002 11:24:31 -0500
    I think this may be of interest to your readers.
    Mike Gurstein
    Michael Gurstein, Ph.D.
    (Visiting) Professor: School of Management
    New Jersey Institute of Technology
    Newark, NJ
    >From the (Toronto) Globe and Mail:
    Consumer beefs part of free speech
    Supreme Court strikes down bylaw that barred sign denouncing company
    By KIRK MAKIN Friday, February 22, 2002  Print Edition, Page A5
    JUSTICE REPORTER -- The Supreme Court of Canada struck a strong blow for
    free speech yesterday, ruling that consumers enjoy a vital constitutional
    right to publicly criticize companies, products and services.
    "This type of communication may be of considerable social importance --
    even beyond the merely commercial sphere," Mr. Justice Louis LeBel wrote
    for a 9-0 majority.
    The court ruled that Canadians have a right to express their
    dissatisfaction via conventional media, the Internet and on signs.
    "It is a form of expression of opinion that has an important effect on the
    social and economic life of a society," Judge LeBel wrote. "It is a right
    not only of consumers but of citizens."
    The appellant, Roger Guignard, is a Quebecker who fought city hall after
    being convicted of illegally posting a sign in a residential area. The sign
    violated a City of Saint-Hyacinthe bylaw.
    Mr. Guignard's sign -- posted on a building he owned -- denounced his
    insurance company for not having paid a claim filed several months earlier.
    He supplied the dates of the claim on the sign and wrote: "Commerce Group
    -- The Incompetent Insurance Company Has Still Not Indemnified Me."
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