Students for a Culture of Life v. University of Manitoba Students’ Union

In October 2013, the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) was actively and publicly planning to ban the Students for a Culture of Life (SCL) club, because UMSU had received complaints from students who disagreed with the opinions and beliefs that SCL expressed.

UMSU accused SCL of “creating an unsafe environment for students” based not on any misbehaviour on the part of club members, but purely on the basis of the contents of the SCL’s display on campus.  The vote was scheduled for October 7, 2013.  The motion stated:

Whereas … inappropriate messaging regarding abortion is taking place on campus, creating an unsafe environment for students … Be it resolved that U-Manitoba Students for a Culture of Life be revoked of their student group status.

The proposed motion, if passed, would effectively silence SCL and preclude it from holding further events, activities or displays on campus.

The JCCF sent a stern legal warning letter to UMSU, prior to the October 7 vote.  The JCCF was ready, willing and able to take UMSU to court for trying to censor an unpopular viewpoint.  On October 7, the motion against SCL was defeated.

This matter was resolved without court action becoming necessary.