Canada’s hostility to free speech isn’t exactly a secret, but British Columbia’s chief justice just took that government-sanctioned denigration of conscience to a new low.
According to LifeSiteNews, the judge “ruled that Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to pro-life students seeking space on the University of Victoria campus to demonstrate.”
The school refused a pro-life group’s request to display “pictures of aborted and healthy babies,” which students called a violation of their club’s charter rights:
But the Charter only applies to government bodies and [Chief Justice Christopher] Hinkson ruled that the university, though funded mostly by taxpayers, and incorporated by the provincial government, which also appoints a majority of its directors, was acting privately when it decided to deny YPY use of its property. So even though the decision was based on the content of YPY’s pro-life message, the Charter protection of free speech and assembly does not apply.
Because the issue wasn’t trespassing, the school was just “acting as a private landlord”:
But what Hinkson isn’t getting, said John Carpay, head of the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, is that universities respect freedom of speech, and alternately impose censorship, very selectively.
“Universities censor pro-life students for showing graphic pictures of aborted babies,” said Carpay. “But universities allow Falun Gong supporters showing graphic pictures of members tortured by the Chinese government. They also allow those promoting use of seat belts to show graphic images of people with their heads halfway through windshields.”
h/t Peter Bonilla
IMAGE: Beth Rankin/Flickr