Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Toronto Mayor John Tory are seen during a news conference at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities meetings in Ottawa on January 20, 2017. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is the target of test legal case that could prompt politicians all across the country to reconsider their use of social media. Three city residents are seeking a court order declaring that Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them from his Twitter feed. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is the target of a test legal case that could prompt politicians all across the country to reconsider their use of social media.

Three city residents are seeking a court order declaring that Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them from his Twitter feed.

Paul Champ, the lawyer representing the trio, says Watson uses his Twitter account to communicate with Ottawans about municipal issues and it is, therefore, profoundly undemocratic for him to prevent certain residents from seeing his tweets or commenting on them.

Watson says it’s his personal Twitter account and he has the right to block those who regularly attack and harass him.

The three individuals challenging Watson are lawyer Emilie Taman, a twice-failed candidate for the NDP, postal worker union representative James Hutt and Dylan Penner, media officer for the Council of Canadians.

Champ says the three have always been civil in their comments but appear to have been blocked simply because they disagree with Watson.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTO: Lacombe Look Back

Vehicles and customers outside of the Aspen Beach Grocery, Gull Lake, 1920

Lacombe County: Notice of closure for construction on bridge and road

Road/bridge closure due to bridge construction from July 15 until July 29

City of Lacombe announces Westview Stairs to complete trail in lands west of Fairway Heights

Council approved the award of a contract to Timcon Construction

230 new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend

City of Red Deer has nine active cases

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

PODCAST: The Expert tackles the return of sports

Cam Moon, Joe Whitbread, Byron Hackett and Todd Vaughan discuss how sports can come back

Sylvan Lake RCMP overwhelmed by Saturday’s crowded waterfront

“The sheer number of people at the beach is an indication that enforcement is not the solution.”

Canadian professional chuckwagon racer reflects on cancelled season

This year would have marked Troy Dorchester’s 28th year of racing.

Crowds in Sylvan Lake “commonplace” during summer months

The Town of Sylvan Lake looking for solutions from Province for large crowds not social distancing

Most Read