LN Associate Cindy Yi shared her comments on the recent Ontario Court of Appeal ruling in the case of Bracken v. Fort Erie (Town). Bracken was issued a trespass notice prior to a council meeting as a result of alleged erratic behaviour while protesting outside in the Town square. The ruling overturned the lower court’s decision to uphold the trespass notice as constitutional, and instead found that the Town of Fort Erie had violated Bracken’s Charter rights.
In the Law Times article, Municipalities should proceed cautiously with protesters, Yi states that, "Municipalities have to deal with disruptive people all the time. But they need to be careful about interfering with lawful protest.” Part of why the Court of Appeal found the restriction on Bracken’s rights to be too broad was because the first contact with Bracken by the Town was the police officer handing over the one-year trespass notice, said Yi. “The town should have first tried to engage with the protester in a calm, respectful way,” Yi explained.