The Liberals are no strangers to lawsuits.

At the height of the SNC-Lavalin scandal, Justin Trudeau threatened to sue opposition leader Andrew Scheer for defamation, despite the fact that Trudeau was later found to have broken the law by the ethics commissioner. 

By far, the most infamous court case the Trudeau government was involved in was the lawsuit it refused to fight, instead giving convicted murderer Omar Khadr a $10.5 million settlement.

Currently, the Trudeau government and the prime minister himself are involved in several court cases over a variety of issues, including the federal carbon tax and the Trans Mountain expansion.

Here are several ongoing lawsuits Justin Trudeau and the federal government are involved in. 

The government is fighting to quash True North’s freedom of the press

During the election, the Liberals blocked True North fellow and journalist, Andrew Lawton, from covering their campaign. Trudeau even sent the police to question Lawton for simply trying to stay on the campaign trail. 

Finally, after Lawton was denied his fundamental right as a journalist to report on the federal leaders’ debates, he and True North took the Leaders’ Debates Commission and the Trudeau government to court. A federal judge granted debate access to Lawton and Rebel reporters Keean Bexte and David Menzies. But that wasn’t the end of it.

Days after the election, the Leaders’ Debates Commission served an appeal notice. Candice Malcolm says it looks like a scheme to bankrupt True North  with a hefty legal bill. 

Saskatchewan and Ontario’s Supreme Court battle over the “unconstitutional” carbon tax 

The provinces of Saskatchewan And Ontario are taking the Liberals to the Supreme Court to fight against the federally imposed carbon tax. 

On March 17 and 18 of the upcoming year, Saskatchewan and several intervenors, including Quebec and Alberta will be arguing that the federal tax infringes on provincial jurisdiction and is unconstitutional before the Supreme Court. 

Ontario has also recently announced that it will continue with its court challenge of the tax in response to Trudeau’s re-election and has appealed a decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal with the Supreme Court. Saskatchewan will also be intervening on Ontario’s behalf.

Indigenous groups challenging approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion

After buying the Trans Mountain Expansion project for $4.5 billion, the Trudeau government has been plagued with further delays in getting the pipeline built. Since Trudeau announced the expansion’s approval, several groups are taking the federal government to court to appeal the project. 

While Trudeau has eagerly used lawyers to intimidate his critics in the past, the Liberal government didn’t bother to oppose the appeal to the Trans Mountain Expansion. According to the judge overseeing the case, the Liberals withheld their evidence and submissions during preliminary procedures prior to the election. 

Trudeau is being sued by an elderly woman his bodyguards manhandled

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is currently involved in a lawsuit with a Quebec woman after he accused her of “racism” and had his bodyguards forcefully remove her from an event for questioning his handling of the illegal border crisis. In a video of the incident, the woman can be seen asking Trudeau whether Quebec will be compensated for the cost of housing illegal border crossers. 

Eventually, Trudeau tells the woman that her “racism has no place here.” His bodyguards roughly directed the woman away from the crowd. 

Earlier this year, Trudeau was interrogated by the woman’s lawyers in the Superior Court of Quebec. Diane Blaine is seeking $95,000 in compensation from Trudeau for defamation, corporal injury, psychological damage, and infringing on her right to freedom of expression. The allegations have not been tested in court.

Egyptian man believed to have al-Qaeda links is suing the government for $37 million

Mahmoud Jaballah is suing the federal government for $34 million for allegedly violating his human rights. Jaballah was arrested through a national security certificate in 1999 after moving to the country with fake Saudi Arabian passports. 

While in Egypt, Jaballah was alleged to have participated in assassinating the third president of Egypt and was believed to have been involved with al-Qaeda. Despite knowing about these alleged links, Canada gave Jaballah and his family refugee status. Since being arrested, Jaballah has been under surveillance by CSIS and his son has been deported from the country for being “a danger to the public.”

Jaballah and his family are now suing the government for allegedly violating his charter rights, investigating him, harming his reputation and keeping him imprisoned, among other claims.

Huawei CFO is suing the government for “violating” her constitutional rights

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is at the centre of an extradition battle involving China and the U.S. over allegedly breaking international sanctions on Iran is suing the Canadian government, the RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency for “violating” her rights. 

The civil suit is seeking damages for “false imprisonment” over her 2018 arrest at the Vancouver International Airport. The legal notice alleges that officials didn’t follow the rule of law and failed to tell her why she was being arrested or allow her to speak to a lawyer.

Meng is currently under house arrest in her Vancouver home and her extradition case will be heard early next year. 

Canadian veterans are taking the government to court over Malaria drug’s side-effects 

Canadian military members are set to take the government to court in a class action lawsuit over being given anti-Malaria drug with adverse mental health side-effects while serving.

The veterans were administered mefloquine, which they claim has led to symptoms including suicide, depression and night terrors. Around 1,000 people have since joined the lawsuit. According to those who received the drug, they were not informed about the drug’s side effects and now suffer from PTSD-like symptoms. 

Kids are suing the government over climate change

Fifteen youths from the age of 10 to 19 are taking the government to court for allegedly violating their rights by contributing to climate change. The kids claim they “suffered specific, individualized injuries” because of the government’s inaction on the climate and that their rights to life, liberty and security are threatened. 

The lawsuit is asking that the government creates a plan to lower carbon emissions. The lawsuit is being supported by Our Children’s Trust, an American nonprofit organization which has filed several similar lawsuits against governments around the world.

Civil rights group sues federal government over Toronto smart city project

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is suing the federal, provincial and municipal governments over plans to create a “smart city” community on Toronto’s waterfront. The group has raised privacy and surveillance concerns over the project’s ability to gather data on Canadian citizens . 

The project is being headed by Sidewalk Labs, which shares the same corporate owner as Google. In response to the plans, former CEO of BlackBerry, Jim Balsillie referred to the idea as a “colonizing experiment in surveillance capitalism.” 

Waterfront Toronto has replied to the lawsuit saying that none of the CCLA’s claims can be assessed yet due to the early stages of the project. 

Civil service workers are suing the Canadian government over the Phoenix pay system

Civil service workers have joined together in a class action lawsuit to sue the federal government over their mismanagement of the Phoenix pay system. Somewhere between 40,000 to 70,000 people could be eligible for compensation ranging between $500 to $1,000.  

A Quebec court has recently authorized the lawsuit while the price tag of the Phoenix pay system has already surpassed $1 billion. 

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