Home News Canada BDS group sues City of Montreal over poster removal

BDS group sues City of Montreal over poster removal

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 A poster being put up by an unidentified people near Westmount Square.
A poster being put up by an unidentified people near Westmount Square during the 2015 federal election. FILE PHOTO

The BDS group responsible for the graphic and inflammatory anti-Israel posters seen around Montreal during the 2015 federal election is suing the city for “illegally” taking them down.

Boycott-Désinvestissement-Sanctions (BDS)-Québec is seeking $265,000 for the removal of the posters that accused Israel of murdering Palestinian children, the organization’s spokesperson Bruce Katz said Jan. 30.

READ: ELECTIONS OFFICIAL RAPS MONTREAL FOR REMOVING ANTI-ISRAEL POSTERS

The lawsuit follows on a decision in December by the Commissioner of Canada Elections that the City of Montreal was wrong to remove the posters because BDS-Québec had lawful third-party status.

During the campaign leading up to the Oct. 19, 2015 election, BDS-Québec installed signs on public property that read, in French, “Israel murders Palestinian children/Harper applauds. What do the other parties say?” and bore a photograph of a lifeless child face down on a beach.

BDS-Québéc poster
One of the posters put up by BDS-Québéc during the 2015 federal election campaign.

Katz said about 200 posters were put up, in the heart of the city, mainly in the Ville Marie borough. BDS-Québec is claiming that its constitutional right of freedom of expression was violated.

Joining in the lawsuit are the Communist Party of Canada and a dozen organization members and candidates who contributed to the cost of the posters.

Material and punitive damages are claimed. In its defence, the city says the posters were removed “in error.”

The elections commissioner found that the city had committed an offence in “prevent[ing] or impair[ing] the transmission of an election advertising message to the public without the consent of a person with the authority to authorize the transmission.”

READ: JEWISH GROUPS EXPRESS HORROR AT QUEBEC MOSQUE SHOOTING

That office did not impose a penalty, but Montreal did enter into a compliance agreement with the commissioner in which the city acknowledged its responsibility and committed to ensuring that it will abide by the Canada Elections Act in the future.

The city said it had the posters removed in response to numerous complaints from citizens and was unaware that BDS-Québec was registered with the Chief Electoral Officer as a third party for the election.

  • TerrorIsEvil

    What is your case built on? Was your freedom to post hate speech infringed upon?