Appeal Sought in Free-Speech Lawsuit Over Removal of Anti–Canada Goose Ads

City's Ad Agency Unlawfully Took Down Bus Shelter Ads Blasting Brand's Fur-and-Feather Jackets, PETA Contends

For Immediate Release:
July 29, 2020

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Toronto – Today, PETA filed a motion for leave of court with the Court of Appeal for Ontario seeking to overturn the dismissal of its free-speech case against the city of Toronto and Astral Media Outdoor, which removed PETA ads calling for a boycott of Canada Goose at the behest of the outerwear company’s ad agency.

In its dismissal, the Ontario Divisional Court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction to hear PETA’s application for judicial review, calling the matter a contract dispute—so the crux of the case, the group’s  allegation that the city and Astral Media violated its Charter right to free expression, has not been examined. PETA believes the ruling was incorrect.

“Astral Media Outdoor placated Canada Goose at the expense of animals in need,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA wants a day in court to advocate for the coyotes caught in steel traps and the geese whose throats are slit before their feathers are used in Canada Goose’s coats.”

Astral initially posted PETA’s ads on several bus shelters owned by the city of Toronto. They showed a coyote alongside the words “I’m a Living Being, Not a Piece of Fur Trim” and a goose alongside the words “I’m a Living Being, Not Jacket Filling” and proclaimed, “Boycott Canada Goose.” But the ad agency took them down within hours of receiving a single complaint from Canada Goose’s own advertising agency, which implied to Astral that if it wanted to maintain its strong working relationship with the company, the ads must come down.

Canada Goose is still using coyote fur in its designs even though coyotes trapped for their fur can suffer in painful steel traps for days before they’re shot or bludgeoned to death. Trapped coyote mothers desperate to get back to their starving pups have even tried to chew off their own legs in order to escape. In addition, are typically shoved into crates and shipped in all weather extremes to slaughterhouses, where they’re stunned, their throats are cut, and their bodies are dunked into scalding-hot defeathering tanks.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist belief that other species are nothing more than commodities. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind