Preacher barred from Stampede route

A judge has barred a vocal street minister from setting up a booth or protest signs along Friday’s main Calgary Stampede parade route.

Stampede organizers had rejected Artur Pawlowski’s application to take part in the parade, saying he broke the rules the year before by handing out pamphlets to spectators.

They then sought an injunction against him, alleging that Pawlowski threatened to disrupt the parade through protest.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Bonnie Rawlins granted the order on Thursday. She said the preacher, who runs Street Church Ministries, is allowed to hold a peaceful protest as long as he doesn’t disrupt the parade or interfere with anyone’s enjoyment of the annual event.

Pawlowski is also not allowed to set up along the parade route.

"I understand the court. I understand why she had to do what she did," Pawlowski told CBC News. "Unfortunately for us is that this right of participating in this great, this outdoor show on earth has been denied to us. But I appreciate that the judge still upheld our rights to protest."

Members of the church said they had spent $20,000 on their parade entry and costumes, but lawyer Michael Bates said they’ll likely apply to be part of the parade in 2011.

Stampede organizers said rejecting the church’s application was about following the rules and had nothing to do with religion.

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