Public Library’s Termination of Rental Agreement Not Subject to Judicial Review

  • 07 janvier 2020
  • Christopher Wirth, partner, and Sakshi Chadha, articling student, Keel Cottrelle LLP

In Weld v Ottawa Public Library, 2019 ONSC 5358, the Ontario Divisional Court (the “Court”) found that a decision by a Public Library to terminate a room rental agreement was not subject to judicial review as it was not made in a public capacity.


Madeline Weld (“Ms. Weld”) entered into a rental agreement with the Ottawa Public Library (the “Library”) for auditorium space to screen a movie entitled Killing Europe. After receiving a number of complaints from members of the public and reviewing the film’s trailer, the Library’s senior employees and CEO terminated the rental agreement due to the nature of the film’s content. The rental agreement permitted its termination if the use of the rental space would likely promote discrimination or hatred.

Ms. Weld brought an application for judicial review claiming the Library’s decision to terminate the rental agreement was unreasonable and violated her rights to procedural fairness and freedom of expression.