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 steps of the case are listed below along with a brief description. 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 update our estimates to reflect more accurate projections of the costs involved.
Retaining Counsel, and Initiating a Public Awareness Campaign - (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 - (Fall 2019)
$70,000 was raised from generous Charter Challenge donors. The notice of application was filed with Ontario Superior Court of Justice in October 2019.
Expert Evidence for Filing (Spring 2021)
Served the government the affidavit and expert evidence package in May 2021.
Prepare for Cross Examination & Response Affidavits (Fall 2022)
Once evidence and a response from the government is received, Charter Challenge lawyer, Nicolas Rouleau will start preparing for cross-examination and response affidavits. The $35,000 fundraising goal for this stage of work has been met thanks to the generosity of Charter Challenge supporters.
Filing the Factum (Spring 2023)
Once we have received the government’s evidence and replied to it, Charter Challenge lawyer, Nicolas Rouleau, will draft the factum. The factum is the written argument we provide to the courts prior to the hearing.
First Hearing - (The case will be heard September 25 - 27, 2023)
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 - (Date 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.
Application for Leave to Supreme Court - (Date TBD)
The final appeal to the Supreme Court is dependent on the Supreme Court's willingness to hear the case. An application for leave will be filed with the Supreme Court.
Final Appeal to Supreme Court - (Date TBD)
If the case is granted leave, it will be heard at the Supreme Court, and the decision of the Supreme Court will be final.