Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Campus pro-life group triumphs at Kwantlen University

  • December 6, 2012

In the face of an impending lawsuit, the student union at Langley, B.C.'s Kwantlen Polytechnic University has relented and will confer club status on a campus pro-life group.

The Kwantlen Student Association initially denied Protectores Vitae (Protectors of Life) club status because the group's pro-life mandate was not in agreement with the student association's pro-choice policy on abortion.

Oliver Capko, president of Protectores Vitae, was relieved to receive a call from Christopher Girodat, chairperson of the KSA executive committee, Dec. 5 informing him that the pro-life group will be granted official club status.

"I am relieved that the issue has been resolved," said Capko in a news release. "After working towards this all semester, it is great to finally be accepted and treated like other clubs on campus.

"Now that we no longer have to fight against discrimination, we can actually focus on why we wanted to start this club in the first place. It's important that bioethical issues, like abortion, are raised on campus and we look forward to being part of that conversation here at Kwantlen."

Protectores Vitae had submitted an application for club status Oct. 12, which the KSA executive committee rejected. The Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms joined the fight, and on behalf of Protectores Vitae demanded on Nov. 23 that the KSA rescind its decision. When nothing came of this, Protectores Vitae announced on Dec. 3 it would be taking the KSA to court.

"The Justice Centre has invested a lot of time in legal research and preparing the court documents, but we are happy that it will not be necessary to commence a court action against this discrimination," said John Carpay, president of the JCCF, who took on this case pro-bono.

Carpay and Capko were brought together by the National Campus Life Network.

Protectores Vitae club activities will begin on campus in the new year.

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