Although the majority decision in this case does not definitively establish the existence of torts based on international human rights violations in Canadian courts, the reasons represent a significant leap in judicial thinking on the responsibilities and liability of Canadians corporations who operate internationally in jurisdictions where human rights abuses may occur.
Charter of Rights and Freedoms
On August 2018, Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities announced that it would “require every publicly-assisted college and university to develop and publicly post its own free speech policy by January 1, 2019 that meets a minimum standard specified by the government”. In December 2019, Alberta’s government followed suit.
An Ontario court decision rendered on July 16th may completely change the rules about political advocacy by Canadian charities. The decision struck down the law limiting a charity’s non-partisan political activities. This affects every Canadian charity hoping to get public support for policies relevant to its charitable purposes and activities.