Constitutionality of Community Standards By-laws

Constitutionality of Community Standards By-laws

Recently, the Alberta town of Taber passed a Community Standards By-Law (see: http://www.taber.ca/DocumentCenter/View/1006) that has garnered a fair bit of attention, even internationally. See: http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/tabers-real-target-mennonites/ Some of the attention and response has been light hearted, but the passing of the by-law and the response to it actually lead to some more serious questions about the ability of municipalities to pass Community Standards by-laws, which exist in numerous places in some form or another. The issues we see as important include:

1. Is a by-law that resembles a provision of the Criminal Code intra vires (within the jurisdiction or authority of) the municipal government?

2. How do Community Standards relate to Charter rights like freedom of expression and assembly?

photo: Brian Turner/flickr

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