Calgary – A decision by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has many lobbying organizations, including the pro-life movement, heaving a huge sigh of relief.
The court ruled that the recently passes Bill C-114, more commonly known as the gag law, was unconstitutional. The Bill threatened imprisonment to citizens who independently spent more than $1,000 to support or oppose political parties or candidates during federal elections.
Judge Donald MacLeod ruled that the legislation violated the freedom of speech, association and the right to an informed vote – all guaranteed under the constitution.
“This is a magnificent victory for freedom,” said National Citizens’ Coalition President David Somerville. The NCC had campaigned hard against the legislation and had been involved with the defeat of similar legislation several years ago.
“If we hadn’t succeeded in defending freedom,” continued Somerville, “establishment politicians would have succeeded in legislating a monopoly for themselves on electoral debate.”
Pro-life groups, such as Campaign Life Coalition, were ecstatic with the decision. Much of CLC’s work comes during election time when it can target those MPs who are pro-life and work against those who aren’t.
Jim Hughes, president of CLC could not refrain from taking a poke at all three parties who unanimously approved such legislation. “They choked on their own gag law,” said the obviously overjoyed Hughes.
The NCC warned new Prime Minister Kim Campbell not to appeal the ruling and has promised, in the next election, to “run a hard-hitting campaign” against those politicians who backed the gag law.