Protesters are expected to turn up at the Coquitlam Public Library Poirier branch Tuesday evening where an anti-abortion group is holding a planning meeting to strategize for the upcoming federal election.
Right Now said it is launching its Operation 50 Tour, which is targeting 50 ridings across Canada with the intention of electing anti-abortion Members of Parliament. The group will be meeting with local activists in the Nancy Bennett Room between 6 and 8 p.m.
Todd Gnissios, the executive director of the Coquitlam Public Library, said he has been informed that pro-choice activists will likely protest the event.
"We have been receiving an email and phone campaign asking the library to cancel the booking," he told The Tri-City News on Tuesday. "We have been advised that there will be protesters [and] activists at the Poirier branch to protest the event."
He added that cancelling the booking would contravene the Canadian Federation of Library Associations statement on intellectual freedom, which says libraries are responsible for safeguarding "constitutionally protected expressions of knowledge, imagination, ideas and opinion."
Right Now is a private group that is paying the standard business rate for its room rental and the booking is not sponsored or supported by the library in any way, he added.
"We accept that the topic of this room booking will cause distress to many," Gnissios said in an email to residents who have expressed concern about the booking. "Nonetheless, the supporters of this group have a right to express their thoughts and ideas within legislated restrictions."
More to come...