Osler represents CCLA before the Supreme Court of Canada

W. David Rankin, Lindsay Rauccio, Graham Buitenhuis

May 1, 2024

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) the right to appear before the court as an intervener in the case of the Attorney General of Ontario v. Working Families Coalition, and members of Osler’s team will be acting on behalf of the association, on a pro bono basis.

The case involves a constitutional challenge of the Ontario government’s third-party election spending rules and its invocation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ “notwithstanding” clause. This follows a finding in 2023 by the Ontario Court of Appeal that the rules unjustifiably infringe on section 3 of the Charter, and that as such, the rules should be suspended for 12 months to allow the government to draft new Charter-­compliant ones.

During its argument before the Supreme Court, the CCLA will focus on the need for a broad and purposive interpretation of s. 3 of the Charter — the section that addresses democratic rights — and will invite courts considering this section to be particularly attuned to whether the impugned law insulates incumbents from electoral accountability.

The Osler team representing the CCLA includes litigation partner David Rankin and associates Lindsay Rauccio and Graham Buitenhuis.