Charter Challenge Update - In Court Next Month!

Our date in court is approaching rapidly and there is important and exciting work underway. 

The Charter Challenge for Fair Voting will be heard in the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto next month (Sep 25-27). The hearings will be open to the public, and we’ll send you all the details as soon as we have them confirmed.

In the meantime, here’s an update on the work over the past month and a half. At the end of June, we told you that, thanks to your generous support, we had reached the very significant milestone of having submitted our factum (the written argument for the case).  

Since then, four external organizations have submitted supplementary arguments of their own (called interventions) - three supporting our case, and one arguing against.

  • Fair Vote Canada submitted a review of electoral reform attempts throughout Canadian history, clearly demonstrating that previous efforts were thwarted by partisan self-interest and urging the court to act to defend voters’ democratic rights.

  • The UK-based Electoral Reform Society reinforced many of our core arguments, and noted that the issues we identified play out with similar effects in the UK.

  • Apathy is Boring is a Canadian advocacy organization seeking to improve engagement and participation of youth in our democracy. Their submission argues that our current voting system creates a number of significant barriers to participation by and representation of younger voters.

  • Finally, the Canadian Constitution Foundation doesn’t directly take a position on the relative merits of different voting systems, but argues that our first-past-the-post system is “constitutionalized” and that the court cannot force the government to change it. We disagree, and our lawyer, Nicolas Rouleau, submitted a compelling and well-argued response to their submission. 

What’s Next?

The federal government is expected to submit their written argument very shortly, at which point all the written documents will be released publicly. The team will read the government’s argument very carefully, and take it into account as we prepare oral arguments.

Thank you for your continued support. More to come soon!

Jesse Hitchcock, Springtide & Antony Hodgson, Fair Voting BC

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  • Jesse Hitchcock
    published this page in Blog Updates 2023-08-18 13:42:20 -0300

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Key Events in the Case:

  • We're currently waiting for our appeal to be heard (scheduled for Nov 2024)
  • We submitted our appeal factum in late April 2024.
  • We filed our Notice of Appeal on Dec 29, 2023.
  • Justice Ed Morgan issued his ruling on Nov 30, 2023 and unfortunately dismissed our application.
  • The case was heard September 26-28, 2023 in the Ontario Superior Court.
  • We received the government's affidavits in late Fall 2022.
  • We served the government with our affidavit and evidence package in May 2021.
  • We filed the case with the Ontario Superior Court in October 2019.

How you can help

The main way you can help is to support the case financially. We are now raising $25,000 to support the second stage of our appeal process. You can support the case for as little as a dollar a month.

What to expect

At each step, we set a donation goal based on our estimate of the costs for the next stage of the process, and invite our supporters to contribute towards that goal to ensure the case can continue to move forward.