Injunction Sought Against Sound Cannons

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) are in court today seeking an injunction against the police from using LRADs (Long Range Acoustic Devices), also known as sound cannons, against G8/G20 protesters in Toronto.

The police claim that they will be used for broadcasting messages, but they are also capable of emitting loud noises for crowd dispersal.

A press release from the CLC can be found here, and the factum by Paul J. J. Cavalluzzo and Michael D. Wright of Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre & Cornish is available here through the CCLA.

The factum cites the ability of sound cannons to cause permanent damage, and the fact that they are largely untested, risking a violation of security of person, freedoms of assembly and association, and freedom of expression (ss. 2(b), (c), (d), 7 of the Charter).

They also note that Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services did not provide approval for their use, and the device falls within the definition of a weapon under Regulation 926 of the Police Services Act. Weapons other than firearms are controlled under the regulation,

Other Weapons

14. (1) A member of a police force shall not use a weapon other than a firearm on another person unless,

(a) that type of weapon has been approved for use by the Solicitor General;

(b) the weapon conforms to technical standards established by the Solicitor General; and

(c) the weapon is used in accordance with standards established by the Solicitor General.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the use of a weapon on another member of the police force in the course of a training exercise in accordance with the rules of the police force.

The Act provides that regulations can be made limiting the type of equipment and the use of force used,


135. (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations…

15. regulating or prohibiting the use of any equipment by a police force or any of its members;

16. regulating the use of force by members of police forces;

The parties are seeking an injunction for this afternoon.


  1. I wonder why authorities need such devices anyway if everything is blocked off as the media reports? Suerly then, peaceful assemblies are limited in their locations for protest. If a riot breaks out, then yes, by all means (if they are found to be of legal fucntion) use them. But really, isn’t this whole thing a self-fulfilling prophecy on the part of security forces? By bringing such devices in, are they not antagonizing and intimidating exactly those who they want to be calm and peacefully communicative?

    If the LRAD’s are illegally brought in and used without permission from required authorities, this will be a very black-eye on the face of an already highly scrutinized public police presence in Canada.