Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld has put out a public plea to raise $60,000 to support his case that will be heard next month at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa.
The controversial school trustee who is not permitted inside Chilliwack schools because of his anti-LGBTQ+ views said his case is about fighting “to protect his right to have access to children.”
It was on his Barry Neufeld YouTube channel that he posted a video on Sept. 12 titled “Prayer for nine Supreme Court Justices of Canada.”
“Barry Neufeld is going to the Supreme Court of Canada to protect his right to have access to children,” reads the synopsis under the video. “The nine Supreme Court Justices will decide if he, or people of like mind, will continue to be able to have contact with children.”
The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) hearing Neufeld referred to, which will be attended by lawyers only, is slated to go ahead on Oct. 11. The hearing comes after ex-BCTF head Glen Hansman was granted leave in January 2022 to appeal a B.C. Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss a civil defamation lawsuit against Neufeld.
Hansman has referred to Neufeld’s behaviour and comments about the SOGI 123 inclusion materials in schools discriminatory, hateful, transphobic, and he has said Neufeld “shouldn’t be anywhere near students.”
Neufeld was censured by the Chilliwack Board of Education in 2020 for ethical violations, disallowed from entering schools, and banned from in-camera board meetings.
More recently he put out the fundraising plea for his legal battle against Hansman, and was filmed reading Psalm 3 in the Riverside Calvary Chapel in Langley in what he described as “a prayer meeting of the education sector” on Sept 8.
“This psalm is particularly poignant to me because he’s assembled a gang of 12 groups who are going along with him, and they’re going against me in the Supreme Court of Canada.
“I’m not allowed to take any intervenors,” Neufeld stated, to which someone in the church gasped audibly.
In fact he submitted three suggested intervenors on his behalf, which were rejected by the high court.
Neufeld adds, “Here’s who I am up against,” and lists the names of those granted intervenor status: The Attorney General of B.C., Canadian Human Rights Commission, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Community-Based Research Centre, Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund, and more.
“What if I lose? If I lose then Mr. Hansman will have proved his point that anybody who doesn’t support the gay or transgender lifestyle is unfit to be around children,” Neufeld said, adding “it’s important that I win.”
At issue in the civil suit is whether Hansman’s statements about Neufeld constituted fair comment, and whether Neufeld’s original defamation lawsuit should be tossed out.
Timeline of events:
October 2018 – Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld files civil defamation suit against Glen Hansman who was then the president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. Hansman responded by filing a counter suit through the Protection of Public Participation Act (PPPA)
November 2019 – B.C. Supreme Court Justice Alan Ross dismisses Neufeld’s lawsuit citing the PPPA
November 2020 – The B.C. Court of Appeal hears Neufeld’s appeal of lower court’s dismissal
January 12, 2022 – The Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear Hansman’s appeal of the B.C. Court of Appeal decision.
June 28, 2022 – Appeal hearing scheduled for Oct. 11, 2022.
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