Today, the BC Teachers’ Federation is celebrating a win in BC Supreme Court as Justice Frank Cole ruled that Bill 42, Gordon Campbell’s gag law, is unconstitutional.
“The government’s gag law was an attack on free speech and democratic rights,” said BCTF President Irene Lanzinger. “The BC Supreme Court decision shows the Campbell government was arrogant to think it could silence its critics and hide from its own record.”
Campbell’s gag law, brought in earlier this year, imposed restrictions on advertising three months before an election. It prevented any group from speaking out about issues that matter to people right across this province. Justice Cole, who will release his reasons early next week, will rule that expanding advertising restrictions beyond the immediate 28-day election period is unconstitutional. The spending limits for the 28-day election period were upheld.
“British Columbians have the right to speak out,” said Lanzinger. “It is fundamental to our democracy that people like teachers get to voice their concerns and their opinions. That’s what makes democracy work. Teachers in BC are thrilled by this victory and proud of the stance they took with other unions in BC against this undemocratic legislation.”
The BC Teachers’ Federation challenged Bill 42 in BC Supreme Court with the BC Nurses Union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees - BC, and the Federation of Post Secondary Educators.