Ottawa joins growing list of cities that say ‘no’ to atheist bus ads

Looks like our nation’s capital is the latest city to say “Hell no” to the atheist bus campaign. Now my first instinct was to assume the reason for the rejection might have been prejudicial, but the transit advertising policy seems to frown on any advertising they deem controversial:

Religious advertising which promotes a specific ideology, ethic, point of view, policy or action, which in the opinion of the City might be deemed prejudicial to other religious groups or offensive to users of the transit system is not permitted. Religious advertising will be permitted if the information is designed to promote a specific meeting, gathering or event and the location, date and time of said event.

So the solution is simple: change the campaign by advertising times, events and locations when atheists can get together. In fact, I think it’s far more useful than the generally innocuous “There probably is no God” banner. I can understand that the OTC rejected the ad if they felt it would be controversial or might offend people. And as weird as this might sound, ads are not a free speech issue. The OTC is in the business of providing transportation services to people, not to play politics. But that doesn’t mean that atheists can’t play by the rules and still get their message across. It’s time to get strategic, people!

Comments (4)

  • avatar


    Well at least they’re being fair about it. Besides the last thing OTC needs right now is to anger anyone.

  • avatar


    Oh no! I read the article you linked to and it said that Halifax (where I live) was also rejected a week or two ago! I never heard any press about it coming here though, just about it happening in other cities.

  • avatar

    Joe Botelho

    YA BABY more free advertising for the atheist movement. Every day i open the National Post and there is a article about atheism and in the letters section as well.
    This is awesome! Think about it when have we ever seen this many articles about atheism in the past? i cant remeber so i saw bring it on closed minded companys city council because your just saving us some money by rejecting our ads.

  • avatar


    It’s amazing that these people who are convinced that God exists are even bothered about the atheist bus advertisement campaign. I’m convinced that God does not exist but I don’t give a monkey’s when the next church jumble sale is on.

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