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Nanaimo (City) v. Northridge Fitness Centre Ltd.

Between
City of Nanaimo, and
Northridge Fitness Centre Ltd.

[2006] B.C.J. No. 441
2006 BCPC 67

Nanaimo Registry No. 57412-1
British Columbia Provincial Court
(Criminal Division)
Nanaimo, British Columbia

Saunders Prov. Ct. J.

Heard: November 1, 14 and 28, 2005.
Judgment: January 20, 2006.

Constitutional law — Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — Fundamental freedoms — Freedom of expression — Reasonable limits — Oakes test — Motion to declare that a bylaw of the City of Nanaimo restricting large portable advertising boards to new businesses violated the Charter right to freedom of expression dismissed — City's objective to control proliferation of portable signs to address problem of visual pollution and balance public interests with commercial interests was pressing and substantive — Bylaw rationally connected to objective, as evidence indicated that number of signs dropped since bylaw — Bylaw minimally impaired right to freedom of expression, as smaller portable signs and other advertising means were available for businesses — Means used by city to address objective and its effects were proportional.

Motion to declare that a bylaw of the City of Nanaimo restricting large portable advertising boards to new businesses violated the Charter right to freedom of expression — In order to curb proliferation of portable advertising signs, City of Nanaimo passed bylaw restricting use of portable boards 32 square feet in dimension to new businesses — Northridge Fitness Centre was a business located away from the highway that used a 32 square feet portable sign to advertise — Northridge was charged with violating the City's sign bylaw — Northridge claimed bylaw was unconstitutional — HELD: Motion dismissed — Restriction on use of portable sign was reasonable…...

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