Friday, April 13, 2007
A Calgary preacher plans to keep spreading the word of God with loudspeakers on the street, despite a court order.
The grace period the city allowed Art Pawlowski over the Easter weekend has expired, but the preacher said that’s not going to stop him.
"Without the speakers, we cannot proceed. Because of the overpass and the noise from the cars, it’s impossible to communicate with anyone over there."
His street church meets across from the Drop-In Centre, a homeless shelter, on weekends.
Court of Queen’s Bench ruled on April 5 that Pawlowski must abide by the restrictions on his 2007 parks permit preventing him from using loudspeakers to preach.
Pawlowski believes the city is persecuting him because of his religious message.
"The city of Calgary is prejudiced against our message of hope in the name of Jesus and there is some witch hunt against the cross," he said.
City bylaw director Bill Bruce said the noise restrictions have nothing to do with religion. He said if Pawlowski uses the speakers Friday night, there will be consequences.
"He’s going to have to decide how that goes. There is a permit in place, the court has said the permit stands, and it needs to be honoured."
Bruce said if Pawlowski defies the order, he could be fined a couple of hundred dollars. He could also have his permit revoked and be issued a mandatory court appearance for non-compliance.