Interim staff

A Toronto man risks strained relations with his employer by posting pro-life signs on the walls of his workplace.

Emidio Galea of Scarborough is a dedicated pro-lifer and a supporter of the Aid to Women service on Gerrard St. East in Toronto. For nearly ten years, Galea has worked as a stockroom clerk at the Ryerson Polytechinical University bookstore. On many occasions, Galea spends his lunch hour at Aid to Women, offering sidewalk counseling to abortion-seeking women.

To show his support for unborn children, Galea began posting pro-life and Amnesty International signs on the walls of the stockroom. The posters were displayed in a non-public area and were seen only by Galea and some of his co-workers.

“I thought it was an appropriate gesture,” Galea said, “especially in view of the number of posters supporting lesbian and gay organizations which are displayed all over the Ryerson campus.” Many of these posters are deliberately provocative and would offend most people with traditional views of marriage and family.

Galea’s supervisors however, took a different view of the situation. They said the student organizations had received permission to display their material, but Galea, as an employee of the university, had no such permission.

At the end of December, Galea was called to his supervisor’s office and was told that a number of people had objected to the sight of his posters. He agreed to take the posters down, but asked for legal clarification of an employee’s right to display material at the workplace.

In January, Galea met with John Corallo, business manager of Ryerson’s ancillary services department, to discuss the situation. Galea later received a letter informing him that Corallo would “screen and approve” all articles, prints and pictures that Galea wished to display. Corallo would also approve the location of the material.

“Be it understood that my approval or disapproval is final, and that there is no procedure for recourse,” Corallo said. “I trust that this accurately reflects the spirit of our meeting and that this understanding has no connection with our expectation of your work performance at Ryerson.”

For his part, Galea is concerned with the manager’s reference to “work performance.”

He suspects the problem with the university administration stems in part from his clear identification with the pro-life cause.

He has since submitted 20 articles from Campaign Life Coalition and Amnesty International for review by his superiors.

“If this material is approved, I would very much like to resume displaying it in the stockroom where there is ample space,” Galea said.