Lethbridge pro-life group seeks review of city decision to reject controversial ads

A city transit bench with a pro-life ad that was vandalized. File/Global News

The Lethbridge and District Pro-Life Association (LPL) has filed an application for a judicial review of a City of Lethbridge decision that rejected five of its pro-life ads.

The group said the submissions included a healthy newborn baby with the caption, “Life should be the most fundamental human right,” and another featured a pregnant woman with the caption, “Equality should begin in the womb.”

READ MORE: ‘We are very disappointed’: Lethbridge and District Pro-life reacts after city pulls transit ad campaign

In a statement posted to its website on Jan. 14, the association said the city provided reasons for the rejection, citing its removal of a previous LPL ad in 2018 that was taken down due to an adverse community reaction.

The association said it was also told by the city that future LPL ad applications will not be permitted due to a heightened awareness of the group’s brand.

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“The city has made it clear that if you don’t hold the same opinion as the city, you will not be treated equally,” said Carol Crosson, the lawyer representing LPL in a statement.

“The charter requires that the city respect the right to freedom of expression, and act in an unbiased fashion.”

READ MORE: Lethbridge transit bench with pro-life ad vandalized

LPL claimed the city also refused to listen to two petitions in support of its free speech rights that garnered more than 3,000 signatures combined.

WATCH (March 19, 2018): A Lethbridge pro-life advertising campaign, has been hit by vandals. As Quinn Campbell reports, a transit bench was covered in paint over the weekend. 

Click to play video: 'Transit bench with prolife ad vandalized in Lethbridge'
Transit bench with prolife ad vandalized in Lethbridge

The judicial review application alleged the association’s charter rights were violated when the city rejected the five advertisement proposals without providing an opportunity to appeal their decision.

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READ MORE: Advertising Standards Canada finds Lethbridge anti-abortion bus bench ad ‘inaccurate and misleading’

The City of Lethbridge said Wednesday it would not be commenting on the judicial review application as it is a legal matter before the courts.

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