What is the test for applying s. 1 of the Charter of Canada's "reasonable limits" or as can be demonstrably justified?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from Red Hot Video Limited v. Vancouver (City), 1983 CanLII 591 (BC SC):

In Germany v. Rauca, supra, at p. 423, Evans C.J.H.C. sets out the test for applying s. 1 of the Charter: The phrase "reasonable limits" in s. 1 imports an objective test of validity. It is the judge who must determine whether a "limit" as found in legislation is reasonable or unreasonable. The question is not whether the judge agrees with the limitation but whether he considers that there is a rational basis for it — a basis that would be regarded as being within the bounds of reason by fair-minded people accustomed to the norms of a free and democratic society. That is the crucible in which the concept of reasonableness must be tested. The phrase "prescribed by law" requires the limitation to be laid down by some rule of law in a positive fashion and not by mere implication. The rule of law containing the limitation will normally be statutory although it is possible that it may be found in delegated legislation or in the form of a common law rule. In the phrase "as can be demonstrably justified", the key word is the word "justified" which forms the comer-stone of the phrase. It means to show, or maintain the justice or reasonableness of an action; to adduce adequate grounds for, or to defend as right or proper. The legal use of the word is to show or maintain sufficient reason in court for doing that which one is called upon to answer for. The notion of justification is qualified by the word "demonstrably", which means in a way which admits of demonstration which in turn means capable of being shown or made evident or capable of being proved clearly and conclusively. The standard of persuasion to be applied by the court is a high one if the limitation in issue is to be upheld as valid.

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