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Canadian Court Cancels Sasquatch Suit: 'Claim Has No Reasonable Prospect of Success'

Todd Standing, director of "Discovering Bigfoot", has little doubt about the existence of a sasquatch, or some hominoid or primate type of species living within British Columbia. The Canadian court system, however, is not similarly convinced. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Ball dismissed Standing's lawsuit against the province, asking for a declaration that sasquatch exists and alleging a "dereliction of duty, in regard to recognizing and protecting the Sasquatch species."

The court also dismissed Standing's claims that the government's nonrecognition of bigfoot infringed on the cryptozoologist's "fundamental human rights."

Standing, Sasquatch, and Standing

Standing's lawsuit sought "A Declaration that, Sasquatch is a hominoid or primate (Giganto Horridus Hominoid and/or Gigantopithecus) type of species, also known as a bigfoot, and is an indigenous mammal living within British Columbia." But rather than rely on Standing's own research into the matter, Justice Ball ruled that "the court has no investigative nor scientific research function to ascertain the truth of alleged scientific facts which are not universally accepted as true":

While the court is clearly without jurisdiction to embark upon an independent investigation of scientific matters, the court is also without jurisdiction to order the government of British Columbia to expend funds to conduct particular scientific investigations of the flora and fauna of the Province.

The court also ruled that Standing has no ... uh ... legal standing upon which to bring a claim. "Not revealing 'specific locations where sasquatch sightings occur' is the decision of the plaintiff, and in no way infringes upon his ability to espouse his beliefs regarding sasquatch existence," Justice Ball wrote. "On the facts pleaded, there is no indication how the Province's action -- or lack of action -- restricts the plaintiff's freedom of expression."

Immutable Ideologies

As to Standing's claim that his "right to equality before and under the law has been infringed," the court was not convinced belief in bigfoot amounted to a political principle:

A belief in the existence of the sasquatch is not an immutable personal characteristic. First, there is no political belief at issue here; Mr. Standing's belief in the sasquatch's existence is not a political matter. Second, such belief is not akin to "constructively immutable" grounds like religion. Where religion can be an element core to a person's state of being in all aspects of life, the same cannot be said of a belief in the existence of the sasquatch.

For someone who has made bigfoot research a defining characteristic, finding that it is not "an element core" to his state of being might be taking it too far. Still, sasquatch remains a mystery in The Great White North, and, for now, without statutory recognition or protection.

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