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GUEST POST: Protesters in Burlington at Guelph Line and Harvester Road

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Yesterday afternoon (May 15), there was a group of protesters holding up signs with anti-abortion imagery and reportedly impeding traffic. My office and Burlington City Hall had received concerns from residents regarding this. Halton Regional Police Service went to the area and sent my office the reply below.

Anti-abortion imagery

The Halton Regional Police Service is aware of at least one recent resident complaint regarding public protesters in the City of Burlington holding large signs depicting graphic anti-abortion imagery.

We recognize that these images are offensive to many.

The signs, however, do not violate any sections of the Criminal Code. To be specific, while the signs are very graphic, they do not qualify as hate literature under the Criminal Code. To be deemed hate literature, the content/messaging would have to be directed towards an identifiable group, which is defined as, “Any section of the public distinguished by race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” 

The Halton Regional Police Service has encountered similar scenarios when anti-abortion groups conduct public protests outside local high schools and display graphic photos on placards. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does provide groups such as these with freedom of speech protection.

— Halton Regional Police Service

12 thoughts on “GUEST POST: Protesters in Burlington at Guelph Line and Harvester Road”

  1. I think we all need to step back and really get educated in what exactly happened during an abortion.. they actually don’t care about the woman or her body. Planned Parenthood makes an astronomical amountnof money from abortions..look up Abby Johnston on iTunes …she worked at a planned parenthood clinic for eight years.. it was sickening how women were treated. The reason it’s becoming more of an issue is because the truth is coming out what actually the unborn baby experiences. How do we all feel when a child is left in a vehicle when it’s hot out. We are usually appalled and want to rescue the child. Well how do u think the child feels in the womb..please do it research

  2. They are entitled to their opinion but not to force it on others and also the disturbing pictures are an unacceptable way to push their agenda.

  3. Personally I think we should be addressing the issue of all the people begging for money on every street corner

  4. What has been happening in the United States has emboldened Right to Life Groups to start protesting again. Women should be up in arms and protesting against those who feel they have a right to dictate what women should do with their bodies. I am appalled to think this is happening in Burlington. We are turning back the clock to a time when desperate women chose to have illegal abortions and died.

  5. Is female a sexual orientation? And were these people impeding traffic on this very busy intersection and harvester Rd is extrememly busy. If they were, they were endangering living people.

  6. I would suggest that women are an identifiable sexual orientation who are being targetted by these protesters for exercising their rights and the freedom under the charter to control their own bodies.

    Does that rise to a legal definition of hate?

    Would love to hear from Police Chief on that thought.

  7. Woman’s right to choose, right to peaceful protest and right to be an equal person before the law.

  8. Can they at least be removed for obstructing traffic? The intersection of Harvester and Guelph Line is a bottleneck to begin with. These people would have posed a danger to themselves as well as others.

    1. I definitely agree about impeding traffic in the bottleneck that is that intersection. I understand that it is necessary to have the construction, but if these people were in that area, they should have been told to move elsewhere. (preferably closer to the dump.)

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Constituent Assistant: Annemarie Cumber
annemarie.cumber@burlington.ca
905-335-7600, ext. 7689