Normalizing discrimination in the name of "diversity"
|Yorkton’s pro-life discrimination is not a good thing|
Canada is no longer headed down the road to one law for some Canadians and other for those who fully accept the progressive politics of diversity. We are there already. Only Canadians who are not aware of what has and is taking place don’t yet fully realize just how the nation has changed and not always for the better.
Take the clear example of the city of Ottawa where the annual March for Life is held each year. The councillors at first approved that the pro-life flag could be flown in the capital city the day of the event, but then the decision was quickly denied for political reasons. To restrict Canadians in expressing their beliefs is anti-democratic and anti-free speech, regardless of whether one supports the pro-life cause or not. Governments at all levels should not take sides on moral and social issues and then claim they are being neutral. Abortion is not a neutral act. Innocent unborn babies are intentionally killed. Euthanasia is not a neutral act. Peope are put to death. Legalizing marijuana is not a neutral point of view. Legislatively forcing transgendersim on the entire nation is not neutral.
A more recent development of this bias can be seen in the town of Yorkton, Saskatchewan. The town does permit “Gender Diversity Week” and “Falum Dafa Day” but recently decided to say no to the “Right to Life” week. This is wrong because the town is taking sides. It’s unjust. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has sent a letter on behalf of the Right to Life group to try and reverse the decision that denies them their right to proclaim the “Right to Life” week. We post the JCCF letter with the hope of getting the word out to more Canadians:
Director of Legislation and Procedures, City of Yorkton P.O. Box 400
Yorkton SK S3N 2W3
Dear Mr. Schneider,
Re: Yorkton’s failure to uphold the rule of law and to adhere to its duty of neutrality
We write on behalf of Ted Deneschuk, President of Parkland Right for Life. The City of Yorkton has rejected Mr. Deneschuk’s application for the City to proclaim a “Right for Life” Week, and in doing so, the City has breached its duty of neutrality and has acted arbitrarily, unreasonably and with bias.
We request that the City of Yorkton cease its discriminatory treatment of pro-life views and of Mr. Deneschuk.
On September 5, 2017 , the President of Parkland Right for Life, Ted Deneschuk requested to appear before Yorkton City Council, to provide oral submissions in support of an application to have the City proclaim the week of October l-7, 2A17 as “Right for Life” week.
On September 6, 2017, you informed Mr. Deneschuk that the City had decided to deny his request. You indicated that the City Manager, the Mayor and yourself were the officials responsible for the decision. You then sent Mr. Deneschuk a letter, also on September 6, stating that his request was denied because a “Right for Life” week proclamation would contravene section 3. B. ii of the City’s Proclamation Policy. The relevant section of the Proclamation Policy reads:
B. Proclamations will not be issued for:
ii. Matters of political controversy, ideological, or religious beliefs or individual [sic] conviction;
Notwithstanding the Proclamation Policy, the City has made a practice of issuing proclamations for controversial, ideological and religious subjects. For example, the week of March 26-April 1, 2017 was proclaimed by the City as “Gender Diversity Week” on the application of Laura Budd, Education Coordinator of Moose Jaw Pride Incorporated, and May 13,2017 was proclaimed as “Falun Dafa Day” on application of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada.
Government Duty of Neutrality
Canada’s Constitution preserves Canada as a free and democratic society. As such, governments at all levels are required to maintain neutrality regarding philosophical, ideological, and religious beliefs. The Canadian Charter of Rights ond Freedoms (the “Chortet’) requires that the City neither “favour nor hinder any particular belief and the same holds true for non-belief: Mouvement laique quebecois v Saguenay (City), 2015 SCC 16, at para. 72. By mislabeling the proposed “Right for Life” week, and its associated pro-life viewpoint, as a “matter of political controversy, ideological, or religious beliefs or individual convictiot”, but issuing proclamations regarding the belief in alternative genders (which remains deeply controversial in Canada) and Buddhist spiritual meditation, the City has violated its duty of neutrality, acted in a biased and arbitrary fashion, and engaged in the very favouritism prohibited by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Section 3.i of the Proclamation Policy states that proclamations may be issued ‘to support public awareness campaigns”. The City has invited the public to use proclamations to “encourage
public awareness” and educate and inform the citizens of the City”. Further, proclamations are designed to publicly convey “a message of importance, interest and/or benefit to the community”. A proclamation regarding “Right for Life” is of importance, interest and benefit to the community and would educate and raise awareness concerning issues of life. It is unreasonable to label increased awareness of, and advocacy for, the inherent value of human life as somehow “controversial” simply because some (or even all) elected officials or government employees disagree with pro-life views. There is nothing ideological or religious about promoting the value of human life. In fact, section 7 of the Charter expressly accords constitutional protection to the right to life.
To the extent the City of Yorkton relies on its Proclamation Policy to discriminate against viewpoints it disagrees with, such reliance is unwarranted. In Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority v Canadian Federation of Students – British Columbia Component, 2009, SCC 31, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down policies that prohibited controversial and political advertisements, finding that those policies prohibited a “highly valued form of expression in a public location that serves as an important place for public discourse.”
The City of Yorkton’s discrimination against pro-life views and Mr. Deneschuk is unlawful. We request that the City reverse its arbitrary and biased decision to deny Mr. Deneschuk’s application, and grant the application to proclaim a “Right for Life” week on the first available week.
We request a response from the City of Yorkton no later than close of business on October I8, 2017.
Govern yourself accordingly.
Barrister and Solicitor firstname.lastname@example.org