Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hutterite driver's licence photo appeal rejected

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed a motion by a Hutterite community in Alberta to re-hear an appeal of its ruling requiring the group to abide by provincial driver's licence photo requirements.

As usual, the top court gave no reasons for the decision Thursday. Appeals of Supreme Court rulings are rare as it is considered the final court of justice in the country.

On July 24, the Ottawa court had ruled 4-3 that the Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony, located east of Lethbridge, Alta., must abide by provincial rules that make a digital photo mandatory for all new driver's licences as a way to prevent identity theft.

The group had argued a 2003 regulation enacted by the province requiring photographs on the licences breached their charter right to freedom of religion.

The top court disagreed.

"The goal of setting up a system that minimizes the risk of identity theft associated with driver's licences is a pressing and important public goal," said Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, writing for the majority.

"The universal photo requirement is connected to this goal and does not limit freedom [of] religion more than required to achieve it."

No comments: