Alberta court of appeal dismisses appeal against Boisson



October 18, 2012

The Calgary Sun reports reports that, after a legal fight lasting nearly 11 years over a letter to the editor, Prof. Darren Lund is disappointed Alberta’s Court of Appeal dismissed his case, allowing “free reign to hate mongers”.

Rev. Stephen Boisson is the minister who, after writing and publishing this letter in his local paper was fined and ordered to never speak or write about homosexuality again, in public or private by the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal. That ruling was over-turned by a real court in 2009. (Ezra Levant’s comments at the time can be read here)

The Court of Appeal decision, released October 16, saw Lund’s appeal dismissed. “It’s a very disappointing decision, a terrible day for the protection of basic rights in this province,” Lund said following this latest ruling.

Actually, the professor is wrong. It’s an appropriate decision, a great day for the protection of basic rights in the province of Alberta and for the basic (let’s call it “fundamental”) right or freedom of expression. Last time we checked, the right to not be offended wasn’t in that “fundamental rights” list. In fact, if we want to enjoy a functioning and active democracy, we must vigourously defend freedom of expression, enjoy it, but also deal with the baggage that comes with it; putting up with opinions that we don’t agree with or even find offensive.

The old adage rings true: “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Horray for free speech in Alberta!

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