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National Campus Life Network > Blog > Campus Blogs > Brock Students For Life                              : The “Pridgen Precedent:’ The Charter Does Apply to Universities

Brock Students For Life                              : The “Pridgen Precedent:’ The Charter Does Apply to Universities

This post was written for Brock Students For Life                               by Brock Students for Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

As posted by Rebecca Richmond on the National Campus Life Network webpage.

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By Rebecca Richmond, Executive Director

Yesterday’s ruling by Madam Justice J. Strekaf in Pridgen v. University of Calgary did not concern abortion or pro-life university students.  But I still cheered when I heard the news that Keith and Steven Pridgen had won their case.

Why?  Because the ruling clearly states that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does protect the freedom of speech of students on their university campus.

As Justice Strekaf said,

“I am satisfied that the University is not a Charter free zone.  The Charter does apply in respect of the disciplinary proceedings taken by the University against the Applicants [Keith and Steven Pridgen]….While the University is free to construct policies dealing with student behaviour which may ultimately impact access to the post-secondary system, the manner in which those policies are interpreted and applied must not offend the rights provided under the Charter.”

For more information on the specifics of the Pridgen’s case, see the Calgary Herald’s article.

The ruling is good news for the Pridgens.  It’s great news, as well, for pro-life students across Canada who have faced, or will face, discrimination from university administrations and student unions because of their pro-life message.

University administrations and student unions should take note of this ruling – especially the University of Calgary and Carleton University, which seem to have a particularly hard time respecting free speech rights of students, at least when it comes to pro-life students.  Justice Strekaf’s ruling sets a clear precedent.  Students do have free speech rights on campus and they have the law on their side.


Read the comments at the Brock Students For Life                               website.