What is the impact of section 41 of the Regulations on associational freedoms?

Ontario, Canada

The following excerpt is from Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Canada (Attorney General), 2009 CanLII 15149 (ON SC):

In their written submissions, the applicants did not entirely limit their challenge to the constitutionality of s. 41 to its impact on associational freedoms. Once again, the record is inadequate for a consideration of the merits of the challenge. The constitutionality of provisions placing limits on the freedom of expression of public servants involves a balancing of competing values in a factual context: Fraser v. Canada (Public Service Staff Relations Board), 1985 CanLII 14 (SCC), [1985] 2 S.C.R. 455, [1985] S.C.J. No. 71, at para. 41. The only evidence relevant to that balancing in this case is a handful of complaints from individual members of the RCMP. None of those persons is a party to the application and the applicants conceded that the court was not being asked to judge the merits of their complaints. The constitutionality of s. 41 of the Regulations ought not to be considered in the abstract.

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