CCF court Brief challenges Alberta human rights legislation
ARPA Note: Click here to read the full legal brief filed in support of Stephen Boissoin.
From CCF Newsletter, July 23, 2009: On July 22, the Canadian Constitution Foundation filed its Intervener’s Brief in Boissoin v. Lund, arguing that restrictions on free speech in Alberta’s human rights legislation violate Canada’s Constitution. In 2002, Rev. Stephen Boissoin wrote a strongly worded letter to the Red Deer Advocate critical of what he described as a “homosexual agenda.” University of Calgary Professor Darren Lund felt offended by the letter, and filed a complaint against Rev. Boissoin with the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission.
In 2007, a panel of the Human Rights Commission ruled that Rev. Boissoin had violated the Alberta human rights legislation with his letter-to-the-editor by potentially inciting hatred.
In 2008, six years after the complaint was filed, the panel ordered Rev. Boissoin to never again make “disparaging” remarks about homosexuals, ordered him to write a formal letter of apology retracting his previous letter, ordered him to have the apology letter published in the Red Deer Advocate, and ordered him to pay $5,000 in damages to Professor Lund.
The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench will hear the appeal of the Commission’s decision on September 16-17, 2009.