University Of Calgary Continues War On Free Speech

April 2010

The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is representing students who are being prosecuted by the University of Calgary for “non-academic misconduct” in regards to a pro-life display which they set up on campus on April 8, 2010.

“The Canadian Constitution Foundation takes no position on abortion, but we defend free speech for all Canadians, especially on the campus of a taxpayer-funded university,” states lawyer and CCF Executive Director John Carpay.

University of Calgary students Alanna Campbell, Leah Hallman, Cristina Perri, Ryan Wilson, Cameron Wilson, Peter Csillag, and Asia Strezynski stand charged with “non-academic misconduct” for having refused the University’s demand that they turn their pro-life display’s signs inwards such that no passersby could see the signs.

The U of C has informed these students that their conduct is a “Major Violation” in the same category with theft, vandalism, fraud, sexual assault, firearms misuse, and selling drugs.

The students face penalties which include expulsion from the university.

Last year the U of C charged its own students with trespassing for having set up their pro-life display on campus. But the Crown Prosecutor’s Office stayed the charges rather than choosing to go ahead with the trial.

The students have been setting up their Genocide Awareness Project display on campus four days per year since 2006, all without incident. Alberta taxpayers provide the majority of the U of C’s funding each year. The U of C also receives funding from the federal government.

If the U of C were truly a private institution, it should be allowed to censor whichever views it chooses to censor.

But until the U of C turns down hundreds of millions of dollars in annual funding from taxpayers, it should allow the peaceful expression of all views on campus, without discrimination.