A judge has ruled in favour of UTMSU following their lawsuit with pro-life group UTM Students for Life. The lawsuit, which was filed in 2016 after UTMSFL was denied club status on campus, alleged violations to freedom of speech on part of the UTMSU.
Speaking in an email to The Medium, UTMSFL’s president Chad Hagal expressed disappointment at the final judgement. “While we are disappointed at the outcome of the decision, we will continue to try and raise awareness among our fellow students about the value of human life. We aren’t mad or angry at anyone, and recognize that our group’s experience is part of the overall pattern across Canadian campuses of silencing marginalized views, including pro-life expression,” Hagal stated.
“We agree with the stated commitment in UTMSU’s Constitution and bylaws to uphold student rights regardless of their personal or political beliefs, and believe it is important that students’ opportunities to engage with their peers in sharing information and perspective should not be limited based on their beliefs,” he added. Currently, the group is determining whether or not they will be filing for an appeal.
UTMSU’s president Salma Fakhry did not respond to The Medium’s request for comment, as of press time.
During the proceedings of the lawsuit, UTMSFL maintained their presence on the UTM campus by tabling in buildings and stopping students to discuss Canada’s current abortion laws.