Last Friday, the Vancouver Sun ran a story about the refusal of the Abbotsford News to run our anti-rodeo ad, pictured above. The ad shows a photo of the steer-wrestling event at the 2008 Abbotsford Agrifair rodeo.
As the Sun’s story notes, VHS’s lawyers checked the ad. There is no legal or ethical reason not to run it. The ad is just expressing an opinion on a matter of public concern, something that is considered central to our democracy and to freedom of speech.
We are disappointed that the Abbotsford News would not let its readers see our point of view. Newspapers are supposed to be champions of free speech and forums for debate and different opinions. We understand that the Abbotsford News is a “rodeo partner” – as indicated on the Agrifair website – but that shouldn’t mean that advertising is refused just because it expresses a different viewpoint.
We know that many Canadians, including Abbotsford residents, are concerned about inhumane rodeo events. If you are one of them, please sign our e-campaign to ask the Abbotsford Agrifair and its sponsors to stop supporting rodeo cruelty. It’s one way compassionate people can be heard, even if some newspapers would prefer they were kept silent.