Stanley J. Tessmer Law Corporation v. The Queen
(January 28, 2013) involved an allegation that uncollected GST on legal fees assessed against a law firm practising criminal law violated the rights of its clients under section 10(b) of the Charter
 The parties in these five related appeals have referred the following question to the Court for determination pursuant to subsection 310(1) of the Excise Tax Act
Whether, based on the facts set out in the Agreed Statement of Facts filed herewith, the goods and services tax (GST) imposed by s. 165 of the Excise Tax Act infringes or is inconsistent with the rights of the Appellant’s clients guaranteed by ss. 7 and ss. 10(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
such that s. 165 of the Excise Tax Act
is, to the extent of any such inconsistency and, subject to s.1 of the Charter, of no force and effect by reason of s. 52(1) of the Constitution Act
 Although the question put to the Court refers to both sections 7 and 10(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
(the “Charter”), the appellant’s counsel advised the Court at the hearing that he was now only relying on section 10(b). The question is therefore amended accordingly.
The court rejected the argument in a careful and lengthy decision that can, in part, be summarized by the last few paragraphs of the reasons for judgment:
 In response to the appellant’s submission that prejudice to a person’s section 10(b) rights must be presumed in this case, I can only say that I am unable to easily imagine that a person who has been arrested or detained would be prevented or even deterred from retaining and instructing counsel in that situation by the additional GST payable on counsel fees.
 Finally, I do not accept the appellant’s contention that the constitutionality of the GST on criminal legal defence services is a question of law alone and therefore that it is not required to produce any evidence because it is apparent on its face that the tax will impede access to counsel.
 I have already held that the appellant has not shown that the purpose of the tax is specifically directed at those services, and since it is a tax of general application, this case is not analogous to the example used by Beetz J. in Metropolitan Stores Ltd
. and cited by Sopinka J. in Danson
of a law imposing a state religion. It is also not analogous to the example provided by counsel at the hearing, of a tax on entry to a church. As in the example of a law imposing a state religion, a tax on church entry would have a patently unconstitutional purpose.
 For these reasons and in the absence of evidence that any of the appellant’s clients were unable to retain counsel as a result of the GST payable on legal services, I find that the question put to the Court for determination, amended to delete the reference to section 7 of the Charter
, must be answered as follows:
Based on the facts set out in the Agreed Statement of Facts filed by the parties, the goods and services tax (GST) imposed by s. 165 of the Excise Tax Act
does not infringe and is not inconsistent with the rights of the Appellant’s clients guaranteed by ss. 10(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
 2013 TCC 27.