- Charter Rights Legal Resources
- Right to Protest
Right to Protest
Canadian Charter - Freedom of Expression
“Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication” is a fundamental freedom set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, under s. 2.
Freedom of expression, however, is not absolute. The courts generally allow some government limitations on time and place of expression, e.g. you cannot yell fire in a crowded theatre or sing loudly in a residential neighborhood at 3:00 AM. However, a much higher threshold is required to satisfy the demonstrably justified reasonable limit under section 1 of the Charter when the type or manner of expression is being restricted e.g. hate speech or child pornography.
Canadian Charter - Rights to Peaceful Assembly and Association
The Freedom of peaceful assembly and the freedom of association are among the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms under section 2.
As with other Charter rights, there are limits. Since the right only applies to peaceful assembly, the police may intervene when a protest becomes violent or causes a danger to public safety. The right to protest can also be curtailed under section 1 of the Charter where there exists a demonstrably justified reasonable limit.