1. To have the court rule that our current voting system contravenes the Charter
2. To have the 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 (2019)
2. Holding a first hearing (Superior Court) (2023)
3. Appealing (or defending) the first decision (Court of Appeal) (in process)
4. Appealing or defending the appeal decision in the Supreme Court of Canada (TBD)
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. We used these funds to file a notice of application with Ontario Superior Court of Justice in October 2019.
Expert Evidence for Filing (Spring 2021)
We also used these funds to prepare our main affidavits and our expert evidence package, which we served to the government in May 2021.
Prepare for Cross Examination & Response Affidavits (Fall 2022)
Once evidence and a response from the government was received, Charter Challenge lawyer, Nicolas Rouleau worked on the cross-examinations and response affidavits. Donors contributed $35,000 to cover this stage of the work.
Filing the Factum (Spring 2023)
Once we received the government’s evidence, we replied to it, and our lawyer drafted our factum (the written argument we provided to the courts prior to the hearing). Click here to read the full factum.
First Hearing - (The case was heard September 26 - 28, 2023)
We argued our case in the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto in September 2023. The funds raised covered 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.
CURRENT STAGE: Preparing for First Appeal - (Date TBD)
Justice Ed Morgan issued his ruling on Nov 30, 2023. Unfortunately, he dismissed our application. We are now preparing to submit and present our appeal, which is expected to be heard in the Court of Appeal for Ontario sometime in 2024.
Application for Leave to Supreme Court - (Date TBD)
Regardless of what happens at the Court of Appeal, we anticipate that, due to the significance of this case, the losing side will apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The SCC will review the application and decide whether or not to hear the case.
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.