Alison Latimer of Underhill Boies Parker Gage & Latimer LLP, in Vancouver, who acted as lead counsel for the appellant, hailed the decision for providing clarity on election sponsorship.
Bumper stickers, sandwich boards, pamphlets and handmade window signs expressing views on potential political issues in British Columbia do not require their creators or holders to register with British Columbia’s chief electoral officer under that province’s Election Act, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled today; however, “sponsors” of election advertising are required to register, no matter how little they may have spent on the advertising.
At issue in the case was the registration requirement that s. 239 of B.C.’s Election Act imposes on sponsors of election advertising. In 2009 and 2013, the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association sponsored election advertising, and was therefore subject to the registration requirement. The Association sought a declaration that the registration requirement, to the extent that it applied to sponsors of election advertising who spend less than $500 in a given campaign period.