Canada

Ontario homeowner allowed to keep flying anti-Trudeau flag after town backs down

The homeowner put the F*ck Trudeau flag up after the September federal election, following her disappointment with the Liberal party victory

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A woman in the Niagara region city of Port Colborne, Ontario, is allowed to keep flying an anti-Trudeau flag on her home after challenging a city order to remove it.

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The flag says F*ck Trudeau, with the “u” represented by a maple leaf.

The homeowner put the flag up the day after the September 2021 federal election, following her disappointment after the Liberal party victory.

In November, the homeowner, referred to as “Melissa,” read a story in a local newspaper about the city’s displeasure with the flag on her home. She was unaware of the controversy until then.

Days later, she received a registered notice from the city that she was required to remove the flag for violating a Port Colborne property standards bylaw that states “exterior walls of a dwelling and their components shall be free of unauthorized signs, painted slogans, graffiti and similar defacements.”

The Alberta-based Canadian Consitution Foundation (CCF) became aware of the case and assisted the homeowner in appealing the order. The CCF is a non-partisan charitable organization that focuses on cases involving Canadian constitutional rights and freedoms.

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“Like every citizen of Canada, Melissa has a Charter-protected right to express her political views. She is flying a flag on her own property, expressing a political sentiment that frankly is not even that uncommon. If her flag bothers some people at Port Colborne city hall, I suggest they drive down a different street instead of trying to tell Melissa what she can and cannot say,” said CCF Litigation Director Christine Van Geyn in a statement.

Van Geyn said the city specifically cited the language used in the flag, suggesting it was profanity. “Technically, it is not profanity,” Van Geyn said, adding the homeowner sourced the flag online.

Melissa filed a notice and paid a fee to challenge the city’s bylaw order, and was initially told her appeal would not be heard.

But this week, under threat of legal action, the city rescinded the order, and Melissa is allowed to keep flying the flag.

Van Geyn said the matter was a victory for freedom of expression and Port Colborne was wrong in its actions.

“We hope that Melissa’s situation will serve as an example to other towns and cities, and that citizens across Canada will remain free to express their political views without interference from municap bureaucrats,” said Van Geyn.

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Melissa, who has received positive support in the community, said she is pleased Port Colborne has backed own.  “I’m proud to continue to be able to express my political views, which is my right as a Canadian, ” she said in a statement issued by CCF.



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