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January 8, 2020

Court of Appeals Rules Against University of Alberta's $17,500 Fee Deterring Pro-Life Speech

The Alberta Court of Appeal ruled Monday that the University of Alberta could not levy a fee against the student group UAlberta Pro-Life in order to pay for supposed security concerns.

The University of Alberta told UAlberta Pro-Life in 2016 that they would require a $17,500 security fee if they wanted to hold a two-day campus event including a stationary display. The previous year, the organization attempted to hold a similar event, but other students intervened by obstructing and interrupting the event. Rather than enforcing the University's code of conduct against the students, the institution chose to let their conduct go unpunished. Some students even publicly gloated on social media that they were able to silence the speech of their pro-life peers.

By imposing this fee on the pro-life group, supposedly to pay for security concerns, the university blamed the pro-life students for the content of their event and held them responsible for any actions radical pro-abortion students took to stifle their speech. The court of appeal's decision is a huge win for free speech on college campuses. It hopefully means that the school's policies will apply equally to all students in the future.

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