By Hilary White

  VANCOUVER, August 27, 2007 ( – A British Columbia human rights tribunal will hear the case of a college pro-life group denied official club status on campus. The group, called the Capilano College Heartbeat Club, filed an official complaint with the BC Human Rights Commission saying that the decision of the student union amounted to discrimination on the basis of religious belief.
  The Capilano Student Union (CSU), however, contends that the reason the group was rejected was not opposition to religious belief, but to the group’s attempt to “advance an anti-abortion political agenda.”

  The CSU is, “an autonomous democratic organization” and member of the Canadian Federation of Students, the national organization known by pro-life students for its antagonism of pro-life organizations.

  At a 2006 summer meeting of the CSU, before the group was able to ask officially for club status, a representative of the campus “Women’s Centre”, stood to forward a motion that would make the CSU an official “pro-choice” organization. Immediately after that motion was passed, the pro-life group’s application was voted down. The CSU voted the same day to make a large donation to a pro-abortion organization.

  The group sought the help of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and has filed the complaint with the Human Rights Commission in June after a second attempt to gain club status was refused. The second attempt was turned down by the CSU who said that accepting the club’s views would be taking away “a woman’s right to choose.”

  Without official club status, a student group cannot use campus facilities or rooms or advertise their events. 

  Capilano College, along with the student unions of Carleton University (CUSA) and UBC Okanagan, were slammed for their “totalitarian impulse” in an editorial in the National Post last year that called the colleges’ aversion to the pro-life groups, “Orwellian, mean-spirited and more than a little weird.”

“Their anti-anti-choice solution is to do what they can to penalize students who argue for a different choice. The new policy at least clarifies that CUSA is not ‘pro-choice’ at all, but flat-out pro-abortion,” The Post editorial said.

  Read related coverage:

National Post Editorial Slams Student Councils Denying Status to Campus Pro-Life Groups