CAFE backs Little Sisters Books appeal to the Supreme Court
"The Canadian Association for Free Expression applauds the efforts of Little Sisters Book & Art Emporium and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association as they take their case against Canada's repressive Customs censors to the Supreme Court today," says Association Director Paul Fromm.

"We believe that adult men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation or political views, should be able to import, unimpeded by arbitrary government censorship, whatever literature or viewing material they wish," he adds.

"This case is outrageous and is a monument to nearly 14 years of government obstruction. It reflects the misguided efforts of unelected Customs censors trying to decide what sexual literature adult men and women Canadians should be allowed to read," Fromm adds.

`"We are hopeful that this case will result in the overturning of Canada's repressive and archaic Customs censorship legislation, which permits poorly educated officials arbitrary and vague powers to interdict imports of literature and films. These powers are stacked against individual Canadians and are exercised in a secretive and discriminatory fashion which squelches free thought," Fromm explains.

In 1994, after years during which the federal government sought to keep the matter away from legal review, Little Sisters spent 40 costly days in court seeking to protect shipments of books and magazines from the U.S. from arbitrary Customs seizure and confiscation.

A 1998, B.C. Appeals Court dissenting opinion by Mr. Justice Lance Finch found the Customs legislation unconstitutionally vague noting: "A statutory scheme which imperils the distribution of much unimpeachable material cannot be justified by the lame excuse that obscenity was the real target."

"The Canadian Association for Free Expression recognizes that Little Sisters was targetted for no reason other than the sexual orientation of their clientele, just as other Canadians have been targetted by Customs censors for no reason other than their political beliefs," says Fromm.