A couple years ago in Halifax, Nova Scotia, an atheist group had their ad rejected for being too controversial. The ad in question read:
You can be good without God
The Supreme Court there said that Metro Transit had no right to selectively choose which political/religious messages it allowed, so the company revised its policies:
This is what Chris Hammond of the Canadian Atheist Bus Campaign said at the time:
This is great news for free speech but also great news for our atheist ad. Metro transit informed us months ago that they would revise their policy on advertising what some may deem ‘controversial’, if the courts ruled in favour of the Canadian Federation of Students. We are hopeful that Metro Transit will make good on their stated intentions and reconsider our proposed advertisements with as little additional delay as possible.
A spokesperson for the company explained the new policy in 2009:
Metro Transit spokeswoman Lori Patterson said it has a policy against running any religious or political ads to avoid controversy.
Ok, great. We’re all being treated equally and that’s all we want.
So maybe they think we have a short-term memory… because a reader named Adam spotted this ad on a Halifax bus yesterday:
What’s the deal? Are ads about religion allowed or not? Because I’m sure atheists would love to get some ads up there…
I left a message with Pattison Outdoor Advertising so we’ll see if they return my call. In the meantime, you’re welcome to send your questions/concerns to Ms. Patterson (the transit spokesperson) — her contact information is here.