Posted on Jun 27, 2018

UCP, GSA opponents dealt major blow in court decision

For immediate release
June 27, 2018

EDMONTON- The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta has upheld Bill 24 and defeated a court challenge put forward by Jason Kenney’s friends and supporters. The Court awarded all of the court costs back to Albertans in a 15-page decision that states an injunction, as requested by Kenney’s UCP base and supporters, would cause “irreparable harm to the public interest”.[1]

The court challenge slandered Gay-Straight Alliances as “sex clubs” and the court has rejected this entirely. Today’s ruling means students who join and form gay-straight alliances will have their privacy protected, and they will not be outed against their will. The court said explicitly the benefits to students, including improved wellbeing and better school performance, outweighed any other concerns about GSAs.

The judge also rejected false aspersions about materials disseminated in GSAs. This is similar to a claim made in Question Period by the UCP caucus. Last spring, UCP deputy leader Leela Aheer claimed that inappropriate educational materials were available to students in GSAs.[2] The judge rejected this false claim, writing, “There is no evidence that any of these materials were ever promoted by the respondent or GSAs generally, or that the materials ever came into the hands of any students through a GSA.”[3]

Kenney’s social conservative base has organized for this court case, using up precious court resources in the process. After voting in the fall against Bill 24, a bill to protect gay-straight alliances, Jason Kenney and the UCP caucus chose their side on this debate. They lost.

The NDP caucus celebrates this court decision as a victory for all students who join GSAs and who deserve to be accepted for who they are.


[1] Court of Queen’s Bench ruling. June 27 2018. Page 14.

[2] Hansard. 488. April 3 2017.

[3] Ruling, June 27 2018. Page 7. Clause 25.