TORONTO – A lawsuit launched by a controversial Toronto mayoral candidate against Bell Media after the broadcaster refused to air her campaign advertisement on a local television station has been dismissed by an Ontario Superior Court justice.
In his written decision, Justice Peter Cavanagh said Faith Goldy’s complaint should be addressed to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and not the court.
Goldy, a former journalist who is now a fringe candidate in Toronto’s municipal election, wanted the court to order the broadcaster to run the ad until the Oct. 22 vote.
She alleged that Bell Media broke national broadcasting rules and breached her right to free expression in refusing to air her campaign advertisement.
Cavanagh said that while the court has jurisdiction when it comes to charter rights issues, he decided not to deal separately with those matters in this case.
“I decline to exercise my discretion to carve out the charter issues and have them heard separately by the Superior Court of Justice,” Cavanagh said in his decision. “The entire application should be heard by the same tribunal, the CRTC.”
Goldy, whose campaign includes anti-immigrant policies, once penned an article suggesting there was “white genocide” in Canada. “Vote Faith Goldy for mayor and Toronto ceases to be a Sharia safe space,” she said in a recent tweet.
Bell Media told the court that it had received over 80 written complaints and requests from a number of groups not to run Goldy’s ads. It called the move a business decision.
The company said it would not be commenting further on the case.
Cavanagh said the fact Goldy did not attempt to have the CRTC hear her complaint and her overall standing in the mayoral race were factors in his decision.
“I also consider that Ms. Goldy is polling at approximately six per cent according to the submissions of her own counsel and that the outcome of this application will not have any realistic impact on the outcome of the race,” he said.
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In documents filed last week, Goldy alleged Bell Media initially agreed to air her campaign ad on its television station CP24 and accepted a deposit of more than $13,000.
She alleged the broadcaster later refunded her money and refused to run the clip, without providing an explanation for its decision.
Her lawyer, Clayton Ruby, said last week there is nothing in the ad itself that the broadcaster could object to, calling it “utterly innocuous.”
Ruby did not immediately respond to request for comment on Tuesday.
Goldy also stirred controversy last month after posing for a photograph with Premier Doug Ford, prompting him to distance himself from her several days later following questions from the opposition.