Free speech and preacher wins

Editorials

A provincial court judge has dealt the city a blow by siding withStreetChurchpreacherArt Pawlowski, and outing some officials for inappropriate behaviour. In acquitting Pawlowski of all seven charges involving a dispute over noise, Judge Allan Fradsham expressed alarm at how the city has treated the preacher, noting the behaviours of some municipal officials fall "precariously close to being excessive and . . . an abuse of power."

The judge’s ruling lends credence to Pawlowski’s long-standing allegations he is being unfairly targeted by police and the city, whom he believes want to shut him down.

The city should back off. Pawlowski stopped using the amplifier that was the initial cause of concern a long time ago. He has the right to freedom of speech and religion, even if not everyone agrees with what he is saying. It’s unclear why feeding and clothing the homeless should be viewed so suspiciously by the city.

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