Proposed bylaw will strip Calgarians of Constitutional Right
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Concerned Christians Canada is challenging Calgarians to speak out and save their constitutional freedoms from being squashed by City Hall. The organization has reported that Calgary’s City administration will present a draft bylaw to City Council’s Standing Policy Committee, comprised only of 7 City aldermen, in private session, on October 28th which, among many other restrictions, will redefine and expand the municipal building boundaries to include adjacent sidewalks and +15 areas. If the proposed bill is passed by the standing committee of aldermen, the bill will then be voted on by the rest of City Council. The proposed bylaw will prohibit many events from taking place at all, and will restrict others from happening without permits, within these new boundaries. Peaceful protests and demonstrations are on the list of activities which will not be allowed within the newly expanded boundaries, which, to be clear, means currently public sidewalks in front of the municipal buildings where many protests currently happen.
"It is insanely arrogant and undemocratic of City Hall to ban public protests. If the City passes this bill which will go before committee and then be voted on by City Council, the right to peaceful assembly on what are currently public sidewalks will be stopped, the right to peacefully protest City Halls policies or governing methods will be prohibited. The kind of stripping of rights, as fundamental as the right to peacefully protest in front of Government buildings, has only happened in the worst and most oppressive societies in history. This is City Councils way of silencing the public, on issues like wasting of taxpayer’s money, excessive taxation and the like, and it is unacceptable in a free and democratic society. Calgarians need to rise up, and insist that this bill be struck down, before the bill is made law," stated Jim Blake National Chairman Concerned Christians Canada.
Concerned Christians Canada is especially concerned with the fact that that the public is not being consulted or informed about their rights being stripped of them. They have indicated that this move seems to be happening behind closed doors, by steath, and with a stacked deck of only private sessions of aldermen. They also stated that they feel that history is repeating itself, with only a hand full of people making decisions that will adversely affect the rights over a million people.