A pro-life group at the University of Alberta cannot be forced to pay a security fee for a campus display.
Alberta's top court has ruled against the University of Alberta's decision to bill UAlberta Pro Life $17,500 for security.
The court made a unanimous decision that ruled the students have a constitutional right to express themselves on the university grounds, says Jay Cameron, counsel for UAlberta Pro-Life and litigation manager at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.
The court cited Canada’s constitutional document, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is similar to Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution.
The case dates back to 2015 when UAlberta Pro-Life displayed large photos showing aborted babies.
Students and professors opposed the event and attempted to block the photos with bedsheets and signs, and a year later the university threatened to charge the pro-life group $17,500 for security fees due to the “controversy” the group caused -- it was their fault, the school said -- the previous year.
"This is a big decision in Canadian law,” Cameron tells OneNewsNow, “because there has never been a court -- an appeals court in Canada -- which has unanimously found that students on campus have a constitutional right to free speech on university grounds."
After the ruling, the University of Alberta can appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada but remains to be seen if that will happen.