Boissoin appeal of rights ruling opens

Lawyers are arguing an inflammatory anti-gay letter written by a former Alberta pastor was meant as a criticism of government policy and should be allowed under freedom of speech.

CALGARY — Lawyers are arguing an inflammatory anti-gay letter written by a former Alberta pastor was meant as a criticism of government policy and should be allowed under freedom of speech.

Alberta’s human rights commission ruled two years ago that the letter, written by Stephen Boissoin and published in the Red Deer Advocate, broke provincial law and may even have played a role in the beating of a gay teenager.

Boissoin is appealing the ruling and the decision that he and the Concerned Christian Coalition must pay former Red Deer school teacher Darren Lund $5,000 in damages.

His lawyer, Gerald Chipeur, told a Calgary court the letter was arguing against a government policy involving sex education in schools and should be protected under freedom of religion and expression.

The letter carried the headline “Homosexual agenda wicked” and suggested gays were as immoral as pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps.

Arguments in the appeal are expected to last two days.

Just Posted

Former firefighter with PTSD sues Syncrude over suspended benefits, dismissal

CALGARY — A lawsuit filed by a former firefighter and paramedic against… Continue reading

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

HALIFAX — Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi may have hoped to quietly disappear from… Continue reading

Democrats aren’t buying Trump’s shutdown-ending ‘compromise’

WASHINGTON — In a bid to break the shutdown stalemate, President Donald… Continue reading

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Tall timber towers taking root in Canada as builders look to go green

TORONTO — Six years ago architect Michael Green took the stage at… Continue reading

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

Quebec culture minister scolds Netflix over Lac-Megantic footage in ‘Bird Box’

MONTREAL — Quebec’s culture minister has penned a letter to Netflix’s CEO… Continue reading

Canadians across the country march to end violence against women

Women and their allies participated in marches across Canada on Saturday, from… Continue reading

Former Olympian Humphries files harassment complaint with Bobsleigh Canada

CALGARY — The national governing body for bobsleigh and skeleton has confirmed… Continue reading

Fire next door to B.C. pipeline fuel tank facility under control

BURNABY, B.C. — A fire just a few hundred metres from the… Continue reading

Most Read