Northlands and Edmonton-Pro-Life (EPL) reached an agreement that allowed EPL to have a booth at the annual Klondike Days Festival in July 2017. This decision came following productive discussions between the parties to find an amicable resolution.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF.ca) made a formal request for Edmonton Northlands to reconsider its refusal to permit Edmonton Pro-Life (EPL) to have a booth at the 2017 K-Days festival, which takes place this year from July 21 – July 30.
EPL has had a booth at K-Days for over 15 consecutive years, and never had difficulty registering. On January 6, 2017, a Northlands “Exhibit Sales Specialist” informed EPL that EPL would no longer be permitted to have a booth at K-Days. Northlands claims to have adopted a “new policy” prohibiting “political and religious organizations” from having booths at K-Days. A JCCF lawyer called Northlands in February to ask for a copy of their policies, and his request was refused. The Justice Centre has not found any policy that purports to prohibit political or religious groups.
K-Days is operated on property owned entirely by the City of Edmonton. Northlands receives the bulk of its funds from government, and numerous government representatives and employees are on the board of Northlands. The Justice Centre explains in its letter to Northlands that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to their decision to prevent the expression of EPL, and is an infringement of section 2(b) of the Charter.