British Columbia's Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk has rescinded his approval of a proposed law school at Trinity Western University.
Virk issued the following statement on December 11:
“Based on the current situation, I have decided to revoke my approval of the proposed law school at Trinity Western University. This means the university cannot enroll any students in its proposed program. 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."
B.C. joins Ontario and Nova Scotia law societies in denying accreditation for the school. New Brunswick approved accreditation for the school but law society members have also voted to reverse the decision.
Law societies in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, and the Yukon have all granted the university accreditation.
The law school sparked national controversy due to the school's covenant that prohibits any intimacy unless it is within an opposite-sex marriage. Outcry arose due to concerns about discrimination against same-sex relationships.
TWU president Bob Kuhn expressed disappointment about Virk's decision in a news release.
“It is difficult to conceive of a justifiable basis for the Minister to have revoked his approval of the school of law program," Kuhn stated. “We believe in diversity and the rights of all Canadians to their beliefs and values.”
Kuhn said that the university is now considering all options.
“There are such important rights and freedoms at stake that we may have no choice but to seek protection of them in court,” he said.
The university is appealing the Ontario and Nova Scotia decisions in court.
“Once the legal issues are resolved, TWU will have the option to renew its request for consent," Virk stated.