Specifically, in the Report of the Consultation Panel on the
Political Activities of Charities, March 31, 2017 (“consultation
report”), the Consultation Panel recognized that a key principle
with respect to charitable activities is that public advocacy and
charitable works go hand-in-hand in a modern democracy: “The
participation of charities in public policy dialogue and development
should be recognized and valued, and seen as an essential part of
the democratic process”: consultation report, p. 6.
 More to the point, the Consultation Panel specifically
found that the restrictions on political participation in s. 149.1(6.2)
of the ITA were outmoded and required legislative change:
“Legislative change is required to broaden and simplify the
requirements for charities and to remove other obstacles to their
contribution to society that are unnecessary and counterproductive”: consultation report, at p. 5.
 The consultation report then recommended, at p. 6, that the
ITA be amended in much the same way as the applicant seeks here:
. . . deleting any reference to non-partisan “political activities” to expressly
allow charities to fully engage, without limitation, in non-partisan public
policy, dialogue and development, provided that it is subordinate to and
furthers their charitable purposes.
IV. Freedom of Expression
 The applicant’s challenge to s. 149.1(6.2) of the ITA “engages
one of the highest constitutional values: freedom of expression,
enshrined in s. 2(b) of the Charter”: RWDSU, Local 558 v. Pepsi-
Cola Canada Beverages (West) Ltd.,  1 S.C.R. 156, 
S.C.J. No. 7, at para. 32. It would be difficult to express the
importance of this Charter right any higher than the
Supreme Court of Canada has put it; freedom of expression
“is . . . ‘fundamental’ because in a free, pluralistic and democratic
society we prize a diversity of ideas and opinions for their inherent
value both to the community and to the individual”: Irwin Toy
Ltd. v. Quebec (Attorney General),  1 S.C.R. 927, 
S.C.J. No. 36, at p. 968 S.C.R.
 Early in the Charter era, the Supreme Court observed that
“[ i]t is one of the fundamental concepts that has formed the basis
for the historical development of the political, social and
educational institutions of western society”: RWDSU, Local 580 v.
Dolphin Delivery Ltd.,  2 S.C.R. 573,  S.C.J. No. 75, at
p. 583 S.C.R. Indeed, the court has gone on to quote Justice
Cardozo that “[f]ree expression [is] ‘the matrix, the indispensable
condition, of nearly every other form of freedom’”: Irwin Toy, at
para. 41, quoting Palko v. Connecticut, 302 U.S. 319, 58 S. Ct. 149
(1937), at p. 327 U.S.