Objectives of the Legislation

AuthorDavid A. Potts; Erin Stoik
 10
Objectives of the Legislation
The purposes of the legislation are stated in the legislation section and also
discussed by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Courts of Justice Act, RSO 1990, c C.43 [CJA]:
137.1 (1) The purposes of this section and sections 137.2 to 137.5 are,
(a) to encourage individuals to express themselves on matters of public
(b) to promote broad participation in debates on matters of public interest;
(c) to discourage the use of litigation as a means of unduly limiting expression
on matters of public interest; and
(d) to reduce the risk that participation by the public in debates on matters
of public interest will be hampered by fear of legal action.
The Supreme Court of Canada made the following comments in 1704604
Ontario Ltd v Pointes Protection Association, 2020 SCC 22 at paras 10–11:
[10] In November 2015, Ontario brought into force Bill 52, Protection of Pub-
lic Participation Act, 2015, 1st Sess., 41st Leg., 2015, which, as noted above,
amended the CJA by introducing ss. 137.1 to 137.5. The purposes of those pro-
visions were specif‌ied in the legislation itself, in s. 137.1(1) of the CJA: . . .
[11] This was prompted by the APR, which statedthat the “legislation
should include a purpose clause for the benef‌it of judicial interpretation” (Sum-
mary of Recommendations, para. 2). While legislative purpose bears on the
exercise of statutory interpretation regardless of whether apurpose clause
exists, the fact that the APR explicitly urged legislators to include such a clause
for the benef‌it of judicial interpretation, and that legislators consciously obliged,
demonstrates that the purpose clause in s. 137.1(1) commands considerable
interpretative authority.

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