Every year Guelph and Area Right to Life raises over $10,000 to pay for advertisements on transit buses. The ads are effective and reach thousands of people. Unfortunately they have resulted in two separate challenges from the pro-choice community this year alone.
The first challenge was put together by Heather Millman after she became ‘annoyed’ with the ads. At the time Karen Farbridge, the Mayor of Guelph said, “I appreciate that the Guelph & Area Right to Life advertisement may be seen as controversial, but refusing to post it could be seen as limiting freedom of expression under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
In spite of her first request to have the signage removed soundly rejected, Ms. Millman is pushing ahead with another attempt. She will be presenting 3,000 signatures at a Corporate Administration, Finance and Enterprise Committee meeting on July 7th.
REQUEST FOR ACTION:
We cannot assume the city will reject Ms. Millman’s demands a second time. We need all Guelph and area residents to either call or email the following three people!
To assist you we suggest using these two talking points:
- Guelph Transit is a government entity. As such it may not censor the expression of views it doesn’t like. The charter (section 2(b) to be exact) protects every Canadian from unreasonable interference by the government in the expression of their opinions.
- This issue has already been to the Supreme Court. In 2009 they ruled against the Vancouver Transit Authority, stating that Vancouver bureaucrats had no grounds to refuse to publish political messages on their advertising space. They explicitly stated that such a refusal was a violation of the charter.
June Hofland (Chair of the Corporate Administration, Finance and Enterprise Committee)
- Phone: 519.822.1260 (ext.2505)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Karen Farbridge
- Phone: 519.837.5643
- Email: email@example.com
Mr. Phil Meagher (General Manager, Guelph Transit)
- Phone: 519.822.1260 (ext.3321)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to these talking points please express your support for the pro-life ads!