CCF supporting Port Colborne resident in municipal flap over anti-Trudeau flag


TORONTO: The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is supporting a Port Colborne resident over a dispute over an anti-Trudeau flag she has displayed on her home. Melissa is a working mom who was disappointed with the outcome of the September 21 federal election. The day after the election she decided to express her frustration by hanging a flag on the front of her house. The flag says “F*CK TRUDEAU”. The * is symbolized as a maple leaf. On November 16, Melissa was surprised to read in a local newspaper that the town was ordering her to take down her flag. A few days later, she received a notice that she would be required to take down the flag for violating a Port Colborne property standards bylaw that states “exterior walls of a dwelling and their components shall be free of unauthorized signs, painted slogans, graffiti and similar defacements.” The CCF is assisting Melissa in her appeal of this town order. “Like every citizen of Canada, Melissa has a Charter-protected right to express her political views. She is flying a flag on her own property, expressing a political sentiment that frankly is not even that uncommon. If her flag bothers some people at Port Colborne city hall, I suggest they drive down a different street instead of trying to tell Melissa what she can and cannot say,” said CCF Litigation Director Christine Van Geyn. “At the CCF we support the right of citizens to engage in political speech, including speech that is critical of the government, like Melissa’s flag. The CCF supports this right to criticise the government, no matter the partisan stripe,” continued Van Geyn. “One of the wonderful things about a country like Canada is that you can mock the Prime Minister and not be punished for it. There are many countries around the world that do not have that freedom, and we cannot forget how precious that is,” continued Van Geyn. “This case is an example of how municipal governments have the potential to be the most oppressive site of local authority because it is closest to the citizen, and we are proud that Melissa is willing to fight back against her municipal government,” concluded Van Geyn. The CCF has worked with Melissa to file her appeal. Members of the public who are interested in supporting this case can make a donation at:

https://theccf.ca/holiday-donation/

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