Federal Court Ruling: Ezra Levant’s Book on Trudeau Deemed Illegal – Landmark Decision in Canadian Election Law.
In a landmark decision, the Federal Court of Canada declared a book critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, released during the 2019 election, as “illegal.” This marks the first instance in Canada of an author facing legal action for publishing a politically critical book.
Ezra Levant, the head of Rebel News and a lawyer, was fined $13,000 for his book, “The Librano$: What the Media Won’t Tell You About Justin Trudeau’s Corruption,” narrowly escaping criminal charges. He was warned that future similar publications during elections could lead to criminal prosecution. Levant commented, “Several times in the Court ruling the judge says I’m lucky I wasn’t prosecuted with criminal charges.”
Levant published “The Librano$” while Trudeau, the Prime Minister since 2015, sought re-election. Despite winning, Trudeau’s government shifted from a majority to a minority. The book’s success, Levant claims, infuriated Trudeau, prompting an extensive investigation by Elections Canada. Over four years, Levant faced substantial fines and spent around $100,000 in legal defense.
In a recent video, Levant stated, “I just lost in court. Justin Trudeau has been prosecuting me for more than four years over that book, and I’m shocked to say he won. The Federal Court of Canada just ordered me to pay the Trudeau government $13,000 because I published and promoted that book during the 2019 Canadian federal election.”
Levant, represented by Calgary lawyer Sarah Miller, intends to challenge the court’s decision, stressing the importance of this appeal for preserving freedom in Canada. He argues that no other Canadian author has been prosecuted for publishing a politically critical book, citing that the Elections Act specifically safeguards books and their promotion.
Levant highlighted that the judge acknowledged the investigation by the RCMP and the requirement to disclose his editorial plans to the government did not constitute a “chilling effect” on political speech. The judge also noted that Levant and Rebel News failed to provide evidence of such chilling effects.
The judge agreed with the Attorney General of Canada, dismissing the defendant’s concerns about censorship and government scrutiny as unsupported by the legislative text. An official note from Elections Canada’s censorship branch described the book’s title as a play on The Sopranos, a mafia-themed TV show, aiming to associate the registered party with corruption. The note mentioned that the book replaced images of the show’s characters with those of the party leader and other public figures.
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