Trinity Western University is a Christian university in Langley

TWU ‘disappointed’ with provincial decision to nix Christian law school

Move by government follows backlash from B.C. lawyers over covenant allowing sex only in traditional marriage

The province has terminated its authorization for what would have become B.C.’s first faith-based law school at a Langley Christian university.

Trinity Western University president Bob Kuhn said he’s disappointed with the decision of Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk to revoke the government’s consent granted a year ago.

The move follows a referendum decision by the Law Society of B.C. earlier this fall to revoke its accreditation for the law school.

Opponents in the legal community say TWU discriminates against gays and lesbians because of its controversial community covenant that bans sex outside of traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

Kuhn said TWU remains committed to launching the law school and must now carefully consider its options.

“It is difficult to conceive of a justifiable basis for the minister to have revoked his approval of the school of law program,” he said. “We believe in diversity and the rights of all Canadians to their beliefs and values.”

Virk said in an emailed statement his decision to revoke approval means TWU can’t enrol any students in the proposed law school.

“The current uncertainty over the status of the regulatory body approval means prospective graduates may not be able to be called to the bar, or practise law, in British Columbia,” Virk said. “This is a significant change to the context in which I made my original decision.”

The Law Society of B.C. voted 74 per cent against recognizing the new law school in the referendum, which was confirmed in a 25-1 vote of the society’s board of governors.

The referendum was ordered after thousands of lawyers demanded the law profession’s regulatory body reconsider its earlier decision.

The law school was approved by the provincial government in December 2013 but the law society controls who can practise as a lawyer in B.C.

Virk had indicated he was reconsidering the province’s earlier consent, which followed the recommendation of the Degree Quality Assessment Board and the preliminary approval of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.

The law school was to open in the fall of 2016.

TWU’s law school is also being blocked by law societies in Ontario and Nova Scotia and the university has mounted court challenges that could end up before the Supreme Court of Canada.

TWU previously won a Supreme Court of Canada victory in 2001 on grounds of religious freedom over its faith-based teacher training program, which the B.C. College of Teachers had refused to recognize.

Virk indicated TWU may be able to renew its request for consent if it wins in court.

Just Posted

Abbotsford woman charged after police find loaded gun in bag at mall

Danielle Rigdon, now facing 11 charges this year, was on house arrest at the time

Vehicle crashes, flips on its side in downtown Mission

The vehicle came to a stop in front of the Mission Post Office

SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford celebrates balmy start to spring

Readers share photos of how they’re enjoying the glorious sunshine

Abbotsford the hottest spot in Canada as temperatures near 25 C

Abbotsford hottest spot in Canada on Tuesday

Abbotsford school officials hope for new school approval before July

Eagle Mountain elementary school proposed back in October 2016 may finally see light this year

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Most Read