The Supreme Court Of Canada has agreed to hear an appeal of a ruling that would have left Little Sister’s bookstore unable to afford to continue its long-running fight against censorship by Canada Customs.
“I feel really good about this decision,” says Little Sister’s co-owner Jim Deva. “It allows us to at least advance the argument.”
The current chapter in this fight stems from 2001 when Little Sister’s once again sued Canada Customs after officials seized a shipment of printed queer ideas and images on its way from the US, deeming the material obscene.
In July 2004, a BC Supreme Court justice decided this case was important enough to the public interest to order the federal government to pay, in advance, most of Little Sister’s legal costs for the upcoming trial.
Without that funding Little Sister’s would likely have had to give up the fight. But in February, the BC Court of Appeal overturned that decision, again casting a shadow of doubt that the case would ever be heard.
The Supreme Court decision to hear the appeal means there’s a chance now the fight against Canada Customs will continue.
“It’s going to be an interesting argument by our very, very good lawyer Joe Arvay,” says Deva. “We just have to get the Supreme Court to get the importance of what we’re doing.”