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

Chef struck by car on Gorge Road dies in hospital

Khushal Singh Rana leaves behind a wife, four-year-old son and unborn twins

Young conductor to premiere new composition at Celebrate Canada concert Monday in Victoria

“Spirit of the True North” the latest musical accomplishment for View Royal’s Jared Richardson

Saanich Peninsula businesses recognized during annual Crystal Awards

Chamber of Commerce hosts 11th annual business excellence awards

Former Peninsula News Review carrier crowned Miss Teen Canada Globe

Anna Serogyna, a Grade 11 student at Stelly’s Secondary, did not intend… Continue reading

Rebels season over after loss in Cullen Cup Final

Westshore had won ten straight games prior to championship game

Sooke fudge company on Dragon’s Den Nov. 2

Fudge in A Round appearance on Dragon’s Den celebrated with a viewing party at the local Legion Nov. 2

String of collisions in James Bay, downtown Victoria, linked to suspected impaired driver

City man faces up to four MVA charges after vehicles hit, pedestrians almost hit

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Council to hold public hearing on EDPA report Oct. 28

Saanich residents will finally get a chance to comment on a long-awaited… Continue reading

Book recycling program helps Peninsula families

It has been 12 years since Daphne Macnaughton was principal of Saanichton… Continue reading

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Pumpkins’ versatility goes beyond Halloween

Linda Geggie For the Saanich News Get this. My 13-year-old just came… Continue reading

Most Read