A University of Calgary anti-abortion group has had its status and funding revoked by the student union.
Campus Pro-Life displayed graphic photos of abortions juxtaposed with images of genocide in Rwanda and the Holocaust. The University of Calgary administration wrote a letter to the group asking it to turn the images inwards, so that passers by would not be disturbed by them.
At a 10-minute hearing, the Student Union revoked the group’s status, citing a violation of University policy. Although there isn’t a policy against displaying graphic images, the Union decided that the University’s letter constituted policy in and of itself. The Union claim, “We don’t tolerate any club that will violate university policy.”
Campus Pro-Life claim that the University administration and the Union are crushing free speech, and that they will appeal the decision. Group members have also been charged with trespass, and are scheduled to enter a plea in court at the end of February.
What struck me most was the comment from University of Calgary lawyer Paul Beke, who said last November that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms doesn’t apply to universities, and freedom of expression protection doesn’t extend to trespassers.