Saumur v City of Québec

The Supreme Court, by a 5-4 majority, upheld (1953) the province of Québec's power, challenged by JEHOVAH'S WITNESS Laurier Saumur, to authorize municipalities to prohibit distribution, without police permission, of all publications in the streets.

Saumur v City of Québec

The Supreme Court, by a 5-4 majority, upheld (1953) the province of Québec's power, challenged by JEHOVAH'S WITNESS Laurier Saumur, to authorize municipalities to prohibit distribution, without police permission, of all publications in the streets.

But one majority judge held that, by an Act guaranteeing "free exercise and enjoyment of Religious Profession and Worship," the Québec legislature had precluded application of such bylaws to religious publications; on narrow grounds, the court barred Québec City's interference with Witnesses' pamphleteering, which had been characterized by harsh attacks on Roman Catholicism. John DIEFENBAKER supported the Witnesses' petition for a Bill of Rights, which became the Canadian Bill of Rights (1960).