Black v. Law Society of Alberta[1989] 1 S.C.R. 591 at 627: assessment of the proportionality of the means employed to achieve the objective pursued

The second step in the s. 1 analysis involves an assessment of the proportionality of the means employed to achieve the objective pursued. The nature of this proportionality test will, of course, necessarily vary with the circumstances. We must keep in mind the words of Dickson C.J. in R. v. Edwards Books and Art Ltd., [1986] 2 S.C.R. 713, at pp. 768-69:

Both in articulating the standard of proof and in describing the criteria comprising the proportionality requirement the Court has been careful to avoid rigid and inflexible standards.

The legislature must be given sufficient scope to achieve its objective. As I noted in R. v. Edwards Books and Art Ltd., at p. 795, in struggling with questions of social policy and attempting to deal with conflicting pressures, "a legislature must be given reasonable room to manoeuvre ..." The term "reasonable limit" is used in s. 1 and must be given meaning. Inherent in the word "reasonable" is the notion of flexibility. Section 1 does not advocate perfection.

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