In 2008, the township of Russell, Ontario, passed a bylaw requiring all posted signage to be bilingual. Embrun, Ontario, businessman Jean-Serge Brisson challenged the law in court, believing the law violated his Right to Freedom of Expression.
For the record, I agree with Mr. Brisson.
However, Ontario’s Superior Court sided with the town, and upheld the bylaw, stating the bylaw did not violate their right to freedom of expression or any other rights. From Galganov v. Russell (Township), 2010 ONSC 4566:
 The answers to the questions posed in these two applications are as follows:
(1) Does the applicant have standing?
Mr. Galganov: No.
His application is dismissed with costs.
Mr. Brisson: Yes
(2) For Mr. Brisson, is there a violation of the right to freedom of expression?
(3) For Mr. Brisson, is there a breach of section 15 of the Charter?
(4) For Mr. Brisson, does the ICCPR apply so that a breach has occurred?
The Ontario Court of Appeal agreed with the lower court’s decision. From Galganov v. Russell (Township), 2012 ONCA 409:
 For these reasons, although the By-law is a breach of Brisson’s rights under s. 2(b) of the Charter, it is a breach that is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society under s. 1 of the Charter.
 I would dismiss the appeal with respect to both Galganov and Brisson.
 The Township is entitled to its costs of the appeal on a partial indemnity basis from Galganov and Brisson jointly and severally. I would fix those costs at $60,000, inclusive of disbursements and all applicable taxes.
Freedom of Expression only exists for one of Canada’s official languages, it seems.
I encourage you to read both decisions for a full and complete understanding of the issues raised by Mr. Galganov and Mr. Brisson.
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