LANGLEY, BC, Nov. 30, 2017 /CNW/ - Trinity Western University (TWU), a small Christian university in British Columbia, takes its case to Canada's highest court today. Over the next two days, the Supreme Court will hear from Trinity Western University, the Law Society of British Columbia, the Law Society of Upper Canada and an unprecedented number of interveners, as it decides whether TWU's law school graduates can be accepted for the practice of law.
"TWU simply wants to train trustworthy lawyers," says Earl Phillips, executive director of the TWU proposed School of Law. "At a time when access to affordable legal representation is an issue for many Canadians, our program will focus on graduating caring, competent leaders who view law as a higher calling to serve the needs of all people."
Brayden Volkenant and Jessie Legaree are TWU Alumni who are now pursuing careers in law. Both Legaree and Volkenant would have applied to the TWU School of Law to continue their education at TWU if the opportunity had been available. They are available for media comments.
"This case is about more than our law school. It is about freedom for all faith communities and other minorities in Canada," says TWU President Bob Kuhn. "As the BC Court of Appeal stated when it decided in favour of the law school, 'a society that does not admit of and accommodate differences cannot be a free and democratic society'."
TWU is committed to an ethic of inclusion. It welcomes any student who is prepared to live and learn according to the values and principles of its community – regardless of race, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, or place of origin.
The university applied to open a law school in 2012; opponents argue that its distinctly Christian approach and community covenant are discriminatory. The covenant is not so different from a code of ethics or a code of conduct, which most universities have. It calls on all who attend and work at TWU to live by "virtues such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, compassion, humility, forgiveness, peacemaking, mercy and justice;" it also defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University offers liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media and culture.
SPOKESPERSONS AT THE COURT IN OTTAWA FOR INTERVIEWS:
Bob Kuhn – President of Trinity Western University
Earl Phillips – Executive Director of proposed TWU School of Law
Janet Epp Buckingham – Director of TWU's Laurentian Leadership Centre in Ottawa
Brayden Volkenant – Petitioner in the case, law student and TWU alumni
Jessie Legaree – Affiant in the case, practicing lawyer and TWU alumni
The National Post, the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun have editorialized in favour of the law school. The editorials, alongside statements of support from individuals of many faiths, are found here: https://www.twuserves.ca/support/
Microsite for media: www.TWUserves.ca
Media kit with biographies, photos, videos and B-roll: http://bit.ly/2jNL3EY
Timeline and background information: https://www.twuserves.ca/twu-legal-case/
SOURCE Trinity Western University
For further information: Linda Munro, Moonraker PR, Tel: 778-839-9649, [email protected]