PETA Statement: Ruling in Free Speech Lawsuit Misses the Opportunity to Protect Free Expression and Animals’ Lives

For Immediate Release:
April 21, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Toronto – Below, please find a statement from PETA President Ingrid Newkirk regarding a ruling against PETA’s lawsuit against the city of Toronto and Astral Media Outdoor L.P.

In the case, for which the Ontario Divisional Court reached a decision yesterday, PETA argued that the city violated the group’s rights by removing its ads—which called for a boycott of Canada Goose and pointed out that sensitive geese and coyotes are killed for the feathers and fur used in the company’s jackets—within a day of posting them, citing “numerous complaints.” But as PETA revealed to the court, Astral received only one complaint—from the ad agency that represents Canada Goose, which implied to Astral that if it wanted to continue to maintain its strong working relationship with Canada Goose, the ads must come down.

The court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction to hear PETA’s application for judicial review and it therefore did not consider the free speech principles at all. By the court’s logic, removal of advertisements because of disagreement with the viewpoint expressed is not judicially reviewable. PETA respectfully disagrees, and is considering its options to further the case.

Says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, “Astral Media Outdoor fibbed  about why it pulled PETA’s Boycott Canada Goose ads, and although we lost this round, PETA will be out there, shouting from the rooftops that coyotes and geese are individuals with feelings, not fur trim and jacket filling.”

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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