With less than two weeks left in Toronto’s mayoral campaign, a controversial fringe candidate is asking a court to force Bell Media to run her campaign advertisement.
Faith Goldy claims in a newly filed lawsuit that the broadcaster violated her constitutional right to freely express herself as a registered candidate when it refunded her money and refused to air her 30-second ad on its television news channel, CP24.
“This case is not merely a case about breach of contract. It is about how a democracy functions,” said Clayton Ruby, a prominent civil rights lawyer who is acting for Goldy, a former journalist and far-right activist. The lawsuit seeks a court order forcing Bell to offer her the chance to buy airtime for the ad for the remainder of the campaign.
“We believe we have the right to refuse advertising that contravenes our standards,” said a spokesperson for Bell.
Lawyers for the broadcaster have not yet filed a response to Goldy’s claims.
Goldy has built an online following by pushing anti-immigrant and Islamophobic sentiment and advocating a racist conspiracy theory of “white genocide” or “ethnocide.” She was famously fired by Rebel Media for appearing on a neo-Nazi podcast during the 2017 Charlottesville protests, and has endorsed and cheerily recited a common white supremacist slogan known as the Fourteen Words.
The ad she planned to run was less obviously offensive or racist. It is not clear what standards Bell thinks it violates, or whether the media company’s problem is with Goldy herself. The broadcaster never told her, she said, and a Bell spokesperson declined the National Post’s request for further comment.