The lawsuit between the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union and the pro-life group, UTM Students for Life, is still ongoing with no verdict or change in court proceedings.
The lawsuit was filed in early 2016 after the UTMSU administration had denied UTMSFL any club status, claiming that the club represented the restriction of women’s choice.
As previously reported by The Medium in January 2016, Russ Adade, the VP of campus life had stated during a UTMSU board meeting that “Students For Life, which has been recognized by UTMSU in the past, was not recognized for the upcoming school year due to their stance on abortion, in terms of being pro-life and using their platform to tell women what they should do in those situations.”
UTMSFL had then filed the lawsuit claiming that the decision to deny club status was a violation of free speech and their Canadian rights. In spite of the denial of club status, the pro-life group continued to campaign around the UTM campus last year, advocating to make abortion illegal in Canada.
“All I can really say about the case is that it is ongoing and we are hopeful that the case will end in our favour,” stated UTMSU’s president, Salma Fakhry to The Medium. “At this point, I cannot say too much as to the progress of the case and where things are at. We have not been in contact with anyone other than our own legal counsel, as the process for the case is ongoing.”
The lawsuit with UTMSU is similar to one at Ryerson University that also took place last year. The Ryerson Student Union denied club funding to a pro-life group on campus. However, a judge ruled in the union’s favour to deny the group’s club status on the grounds.
It remains unclear whether the UTMSFL team will continue to advocate on campus throughout the year. The Medium reached out to Chad Hagel, UTMSFL’s president, for a comment, but did not get a response as of press time.