A man from Northern Saskatchewan, on a hunger strike since late July on the grounds of the Legislative Assembly will be allowed to finish his 44-day fast after a Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled Friday that the bylaws governing Wascana Park are unconstitutional. “
I find the impugned Bylaws and Notice of Trespass unconstitutional and declare them to be of no force and effect,” said Justice Graeme Mitchell Friday.
“I conclude further that the impugned Bylaws do not qualify as reasonable limitations upon those rights as they clothe the Wascana Centre Authority and its delegate with unfettered and absolute authority to grant a permit to public lands, and provide no exception or accommodation for constitutionally protected political and spiritual expression of the kind at issue in this case.”
Tristen Durocher walked from Air Ronge to Regina to raise awareness to suicide prevention.
Last week the Provincial Capital Commission petitioned the court to have Durocher leave the west lawn as he was breaking overnight camping and fire bylaws.
The government relied heavily on a 2018 court injunction against the “Justice for Our Stolen Children” camp claiming that Justice Mitchell is bound by it.
Eleanore Sunchild representing Durocher said his Charter Rights to freedom of expression, religion and peaceful assembly were violated.
She argued that having a teepee, sacred fire, photo gallery outside the teepee and an alter are for Indigenous People a form of expressing their religion.
She called the occupation of the grounds as a ceremony. Justice Mitchell will allow the government six months to craft new bylaws.
A spokesperson for the Justice Ministry said it will review the decision in the coming days and determine next steps, which may include an appeal.
Sunchild did not immediately return a request for comment. The 44-day fast by Durocher will end September 13.