UPDATE: Election gag law takes hit from BC Supreme Court
The BC Supreme Court will issue a decision on Monday in which sections of the provincial government's controversial 'gag' law, Bill 42 - Election Amendment Act, 2008 - will be struck down.
Go to the end of this article for UPDATE.
In an oral decision released this afternoon, the timeframe restriction on spending for advertising by third parties has been ruled unconstitutional. Spending over $150,000 was prohibited for a period of 90 days before the May 12 provincial election under the Act.
The BC Teachers' Federation, one of the unions that challenged the law, is hailing it as a victory.
Parts of the BC Government's Election Gag Law have been struck down as unconstitutional.
Details of the ruling will be released on Monday by a BC Supreme Court Judge, but it looks like restrictions on advertising bought by third parties have been eased up.
The BC Teacher’s Federation is calling it a significant setback for the provincial government which tried to impose a $150 thousand limit up to 90 days before an election.
The timeline limit has now been reduced to 28 days.
Opposition House Leader and NDP MLA Mike Farnworth and Attorney General Wally Oppal are expected to comment on the ruling later today.
UPDATE: Attorney General Wally Oppal is saying that he's disappointed in the BC Supreme Court decision and will be asking for a stay of proceedings and likely be seeking an appeal.
When the legislation was tabled last year, individuals, the business community and unions critized the bill. 'Just Shut Up BC' was one of the campaigns launched in opposition.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees in BC says that the court's decision is a serious blow to the Campbell government.
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