Former Toronto mayoral candidate and far-right personality Faith Goldy has been ordered to pay over $43,000 to Bell Media after a failed lawsuit against the company this fall.
Goldy initially paid Bell for air time to run her campaign advertisements on CP24 ahead of October’s municipal elections. This prompted a wave of public outcry and Bell eventually told Goldy in late September that they wouldn't run her ads, and that they’d refund the money she paid.
Unsatisfied, Goldy — who brands herself as a “propaganda arm” of today’s alt-right, neo-Nazi movement — decided to take Bell to court for refusing to run her advertisements. She argued that Bell’s refusal to sell her airtime amounts to a violation of her constitutional right to political self-expression.
A judge essentially dismissed the case on Oct. 19th by noting that she should have pursued her grievance with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), not the Ontario Superior Court. According to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAN), which monitors hate groups across the country, Goldy had already accrued tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees by this time.
The most recent order for her to pay $43,000 is meant to cover Bell’s Media’s legal costs. Bell’s decision to refuse Goldy’s ads came after CAN launched a phone and email campaign urging them to do so.
“A bunch of people called in to tell Bell not to give a platform to her,” says CAN executive director Evan Balgord, who helped spearhead the campaign. “Bell made the principled decision.”
Part of the effects of Goldy’s mayoral campaign has been to galvanize a certain level of far-right sentiment in Toronto, along with some mainstream publicity for herself, according to Balgord. But he notes that this has come at a serious financial cost for her, given how much she’s had to pay for legal support.
“It shows how effective people can be, if they wanted to, in terms of disrupting these individuals,” he says. “This is a big blow to her.”
Goldy is one of Canada’s most recognizable far-right figures and has openly used white nationalist slogans, including the “14 words” popularized by convicted white supremacist David Lane and his followers.
She came in third overall in Toronto’s October 22nd mayoral elections, receiving over 25,000 votes, or just over 3 percent.
Cover image: Faith Goldy who was supposed to speak at Wilfrid Laurier University but was interrupted by a fire alarm speaks outside the university on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Photo by Hannah Yoon/The Canadian Press