Canada Panel to Hear Case of Pro-Life College Group Denied Official Status

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 27, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Panel to Hear Case of Pro-Life College Group Denied Official Status Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 27,

Vancouver, Canada ( — A British Columbia panel has decided it will hold hearings on the case of a Capilano College pro-life group that was denied official status from the university. Students there will tell the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal how the college’s students’ union wouldn’t recognize the group because it opposes abortion.

The official recognition by the college is an important distinction. Without it, campus group can’t post fliers, advertise and hold meetings.

Minerva Macapagal, president of the Capilano College Heartbeat Club, filed a complaint with the panel in June saying that the rejection violated the moral and religious beliefs of the group’s members.

She told the Vancouver Sun that the group was denied official status twice in March and December of last year.

Normally, the human rights panel only hears complaints within six months of the alleged offense but tribunal member Diane MacLean told the newspaper that it would accept the case because the students tried twice to use the normal process.

She also said the case was a matter of public interest.

The Sun reports that the student union at Capilano College takes an official pro-abortion position and alleges the pro-life club wants to promote politics instead of the pro-life perspective.

The National Campus Life Network, a group of pro-life student groups across Canada, says, "Interestingly, a decision [by the student union] to pass a pro-choice amendment was made at a meeting in Spring 2006, immediately prior to Capilano Heartbeat’s first request to be ratified at that same meeting."

The pro-life group isn’t the only one on a Canadian college campus to face discrimination.

Last year, the student union at the University of British Columbia’s Kelowna campus refused club status to campus pro-lifers.

And in Ottawa, the Carleton University Students’ Association passed a motion affirming their pro-abortion position and denying official status to a student pro-life group.