1. To have the Supreme Court rule that our current voting system contravenes the Charter
2. To have the Supreme Court order the government to adopt a voting system that complies with the Charter
Any charter challenge has four main steps:
1. Filing a notice of application
2. The first hearing
3. The first appeal
4. A final appeal to the Supreme Court
Our work to date, and the plan going forward
The estimated costs for each stage of the work are noted below, along with a brief description of what happens at each phase. In addition to the legal fees, the noted costs also include the estimated costs of managing and overseeing the work on the case, as well as continued communication with donors, prospective donors and the media. As we reach each stage, we'll ask our supporters to contribute to support the next steps of the case.
Retaining Counsel, and Initiating a Public Awareness Campaign - $45,000 (2017-2018)
With the support of roughly 500 donors, who collectively contributed roughly $45,000, we were able to retain a lawyer, and build a public awareness and fundraising campaign for the work to follow. Nicolas Rouleau is an experienced constitutional lawyer who has fought and won cases before the Supreme Court. In the fall of 2018, he delivered a strategic plan offering his guidance on how our case can best be argued.Preparing the Notice of Application & Expert Evidence for Filing - $70,000 (September 2019)
The notice of application will be filed in a provincial court. Once we've filed the notice of application, we'll recruit expert witnesses, and work with them to assemble evidence.
We are currently fundraising to support this work. We've raised enough to prepare a notice of application, but need to raise the remainder in order to recruit and prepare expert testimony. Can you pitch in with a tax-deductible donation at this stage?
First Hearing - $85,000 (Spring 2020)
The case will be argued in a provincial court. The costs include the time spent in preparing for, and conducting cross-examinations of witnesses from both sides of the case, responding to government evidence, addressing government motions, preparing the factum, and otherwise attending to issues arising necessary to make a strong case.
First Appeal - $30,000 (TBD)
After the initial hearing, the costs of the case will depend on what the courts decide. If we win, government lawyers will almost certainly move to appeal that ruling. If we lose, our lawyers will move to appeal that ruling. Either way, we need to be prepared to fight for voters' rights at the appeals court.
Final Appeal to Supreme Court - $75,000 (TBD)
The final appeal to the Supreme Court is dependent on the Supreme Court's willingness to hear the case. The costs at both the appeals court, and the Supreme Court will be easier to predict once we have gone through the initial hearing stage.