Legal action update 3: Background and costs

Photo by Mikhail Pavstyuk on Unsplash

Why a judicial review?

WSTS attempted to proceed without litigation but all efforts to do so were ignored by the government, including the Premier’s office. The next available option was a judicial review, which asks the court to weigh in on whether the Province’s decision to close strip clubs on September 26 was reasonable, lawful, and fair – we are seeking to appeal the Provincial Government’s (Ontario) decision. See our first post about our legal action for more details on what we are arguing.

What are we spending the money on?

Going to court is expensive! Although we are grateful to Metrac, which provided us with a small grant to pay for legal education related events, our funds available from them are very limited and can only be put towards legal education; moreover, because they are a charity, we cannot use any of that money for political advocacy. This is why we need to raise money through GoFundMe.

Here is a list of our expenses so far in CAD:

  • $229 for filing the notice of application
  • $300 for registration (incorporation) fees
  • $50 for NUANS name search (to see if any other organization had our name – they didn’t!)
  • $320 for filing a notice of motion
  • $608 for perfecting an application for judicial review (i.e., filing all supporting documents)
  • $75 in courier fees (necessary for timely delivery of docs in COVID-19 context)
  • Total as of December 7, 2020: $1,582

With the exception of the incorporation fees, all of these costs are necessary for participating in court proceedings (with regard to the courier fees, several batches of documents had to be delivered in a timely manner in the current context in which the regular post is less reliable). We incorporated to ensure that we had standing in the proceeding (given our concerns about protecting strippers’ identities). We had always intended to incorporate as a non-profit but we had to do so in an expedited manner for this legal action and also so that we can open a WSTS bank account. Having a bank account will also mean we can have more fundraisers and apply for grants directly in the future, so that we can finance more events, projects and actions than we currently can through our above-noted funding from Metrac.

This list does not include other labour-related costs pertaining to research done by students, as well as the time our counsel and co-counsel are spending on the case. Help us pay our legal fees by donating to our GoFundMe!

At the moment, we are waiting to hear back about our court date. We should have more news about that soon.

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