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City of Prince Albert ordered to pay $6,000 in court costs after refusing to fly pro-life flag
Published Friday, June 14, 2019 5:04PM CST
Last Updated Friday, June 14, 2019 6:51PM CST
The last time the Prince Albert Right To Life Association (PARLA) flew its flag on the mast at city hall was in 2016.
Today you won’t see their flag or any courtesy flags in memorial square.
In 2017 the City of Prince Albert refused to fly the pro-life flag depicting a cartoon fetus. The right-to-life group took the city to court in fall of 2018, claiming the city had violated their right to free expression.
Before the hearing took place City Council voted to remove the courtesy flag policy altogether. Justice G.V. Goebel dismissed the case and ordered the city to pay $6,000 in court costs.
She said the city did not provide “intelligible or transparent reasons” for refusing to fly the flag and failed to follow its own policy.
City solicitor Mitchell Holash said the city accepts the judge’s order but doesn’t agree.
“The city felt that they had actually respectfully communicated with the group,” Holash said. “But the judge felt that it could have been handled differently.”
PARLA representative Valerie Hettrick said she is happy with the outcome and hopes this will be a wakeup call to other municipal governments about fair treatment of public groups.