Signal firms ask prime court docket for go away to attraction Plateau billboard ban

Plateau Mont Royal efficiently banned billboards from the borough equivalent to this one seen on St-Laurent Blvd. in Montreal in 2010.

Allen McInnis / The Gazette

Three of Canada’s largest outside signal firms are in search of go away to attraction the Plateau Mont Royal’s ban on billboards to the Supreme Courtroom of Canada.

In September, the Quebec Courtroom of Attraction upheld a bylaw outlawing outside promoting panels within the borough and ordered the businesses to demolish dozens of billboards.

That ruling struck down a 2016 decision by Quebec Superior Court, that discovered the anti-billboard regulation, adopted in 2010, was unconstitutional as a result of it violated freedom of expression underneath the Canadian Constitution of Rights and Freedoms.

Now, Astral Out-of-House, Jim Pattison Industries Ltd., Outfront Media Canada LP, Irwin H. Lande, Glenn J. Feldman and Pattison Out of doors Promoting LP are in search of go away to attraction the break up determination by the three-person attraction court docket in September.

Courtroom paperwork filed in November by the signal firms requested the highest court docket three questions:

1) Whether or not a Montreal borough might prohibit billboards, regardless of a precept of city planning regulation that claims a metropolis might not ban a selected use on its total territory.

2) Whether or not a complete ban on billboards will be justified underneath Constitution ensures of freedom of expression.

three) Whether or not the town can remove an acquired proper with out compensation, and solely present an “amortization” interval for the signal firms to adapt to the change.

In a short, the town of Montreal calls on the highest court docket to refuse to listen to the attraction. It argues the attraction court docket determination “is effectively based in regulation, that it incorporates no errors and that the appliance for authorization to attraction to the Supreme Courtroom needs to be dismissed.”

Montreal is the one municipality in Quebec that has the ability to ban billboards, it notes. Additionally, the town shouldn’t be banning them all over the place, solely within the Plateau Mont Royal, the place the ban displays city planning aims particular to the heritage neighbourhood, it argues.

It argues the ban shouldn’t be complete, since billboards are nonetheless permitted within the different boroughs, and there are different types of promoting within the Plateau.

And it says no compensation is required by regulation, and for the reason that battle has dragged on for nearly a decade, the signal firms have had loads of discover.

The signal firms launched authorized motion in 2011.

Former Plateau Mont-Royal mayor Luc Ferrandez and members of council argued the industrial panels had been an eyesore that detracted from the attraction of the usually Montreal neighbourhood, with its stone and brick housing and spiral staircases.

In 2011, demonstrators calling themselves “public area advocates” lined billboards with artworks to denounce the proliferation of promoting within the public area and specific assist for the bylaw.

A decade later, the query is whether or not the September ruling has settled the problem for good, or whether or not it faces one other day in court docket. Within the meantime, billboards remain in place in the Plateau.

Annually, the Supreme Courtroom considers a mean of between 500 to 600 purposes for go away to attraction, of which it hears 65 to 80.

A choice on whether or not it should hear the attraction is predicted within the coming months.