LANGUAGE

RJR-MacDonald Inc., et al. v. Attorney General of Canada

Tobacco companies challenged the constitutionality of the Tobacco Products Control Act, which regulates the advertisement, promotion, and sale of tobacco products and requires health warnings to be placed on the packages. The companies claimed that the Parliament had acted outside the scope of its power in enacting the Act and that the Act violated petitioners' freedom of expression, as enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court held that the enactment of the legislation was constitutionally within the power of the Parliament, but that sections relating to advertising, trademark use, and unattributed health warnings violated the right to freedom of expression. The Court reasoned that there were several less intrusive alternative measures Parliament could have enacted to achieve its objectives. Because sections relating to retail displays and sponsorships could not be severed from the rest, the Court held all sections unenforceable. The Court ruled in favor of the tobacco companies.