By: Melissa Mihalis
TORONTO- The City of Toronto is being taken to court by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), after ads they put up against Canada Goose were taken down. The ads were taken down after a complaint was brought forward to the city. This brings up the question of what rights advertisers have to their freedom of speech.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom states freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication is as aspect of Canadians fundamental freedom.
York University’s Public Policy and Administration Professor James Simeo states, “The only right the city would have is the possibility of a bylaw standing in their favor.”
Heidi Mattews, an Assistant Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, explains how the situation is nuanced.
“It would be a freedom of expression issue if it had been a government entity that stepped in. Section one of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides for the rights and freedoms citizens have in a country but that does not mean without limitation.” If they go to court, the limitation will be decided by a judge.
Many came to Twitter to agree with PETA
Disgusting Canada Goose company. Well done Peta. Shame on those who put fashion before compassion. How many beautiful animals have to be tortured and murdered for your ego?
— Freedom (@MicroscopicLyfe) October 15, 2019
Others are very much in favor of the City of Toronto
Always been curious as to why PETA only targets Canada Goose when there are about a dozen brands in Canada now that make the exact same jackets as them, following the exact same laws set out by the federal government https://t.co/D5pysro47F
— Daniel L (@DanSalListi) October 15, 2019
PETA has been known for its aggressive marketing against animal cruelty. One of its most popular marketing tactics against animal cruelty was back in 2016. International activists came to the streets in Paris, France for a live demonstration against cattle branding.
The following video contains footage that may be upsetting to some viewers.
The demonstration contains activists on public display, branding themselves as an act against livestock branding.
PETA hopes the Ontario Divisional court will step in and undertake this matter.