Group loses bid to display pro-life ads on Lower Mainland buses

The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform had argued its right to freedom of expression.

A Calgary-based non-profit group has lost its bid to display graphic pro-life advertisements on buses throughout the Lower Mainland.

In a ruling posted Wednesday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Leask dismissed an application for judicial review brought by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, which had argued it had a right to freedom of expression under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

RELATED: Alberta judge upholds city’s right to reject graphic anti-abortion ad on buses

According to the ruling, the organization had wanted to display ads that showed three images: a fetus at seven weeks’ gestation; a fetus at 16 weeks’ gestation; and a red square. The first two carried the caption, “Going,” while the third had the caption, “Gone.” The ad also read “Abortion Kills Children” and showed the website address endthekilling.ca.

The centre, which also has headquarters in Ontario, argued that freedom of expression includes the right to communicate controversial and unpopular messages “which the majority may deem wrong or false,” the ruling said. The group also said bus riders “are expected to put up with some controversy in Canadian society.”

The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority, whose advertising is managed by Lamar Transit Advertising, rejected the ads in 2015 because it would not create a “safe and welcoming environment.”

Justice Leask found that the transportation authority did infringe on the centre’s right to freedom of expression, but that it was a reasonable infringement because the agency wanted to provide a safe environment for others.

He went on to say that certain groups, such as children, would be at risk of harm from the ads.

“I find that the advertisement could cause psychological harm to women,” he added. “While women are not as vulnerable to graphic imagery as children, clearly comparing women who have had abortions to “killers” is content that many members of the general public, especially women, would find disturbing.”

More to come.


 


laura.baziuk@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Last remaining Victoria Legion faces $100,000 property tax bill

The Trafalgar/ Pro Patria Branch can’t afford to operate with such high taxes

Downtown Victoria sees 10-fold increase in condo units since 2016

A report by the Downtown Victoria Business Association details ongoing construction trends

Federal government commits $9.1 million toward UVic Indigenous Law building

Contribution supports Canada’s first Canada’s first Indigenous Law program

Saanich farm hosts birthday party as wetland turns 10

The Urban Biodiversity Enhancement and Restoration Project invites community to 10th birthday for wetland

Soul Shakers kick off free outdoor concerts in Oak Bay

Music fills the air at Willows Beach Park for series of concerts this summer

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

40 cats, kittens surrendered in apparent animal hoarding at Vancouver home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in Stz’uminus dies from injuries

A male pedestrian was struck in the early morning of June 25

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from Vancouver furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Poll: Rising gas prices force B.C. residents rethink summer road trips

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

Most Read