Edmonton's poison pill anti-protest bylaw delayed after the Left discovers it targets them, too

Bylaw 20700, proposed earlier this year, affronts civil liberties and the right to peaceful assembly.

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The newly-proposed restrictions on public spaces would offer fines for those participating in or organizing an event or protest without a permit when the demonstration has 50 or more attendees.

City Council, led by Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, a former Trudeau cabinet minister, sent the law back to the city for revisions after hearing from delegates who called it "dangerous and undemocratic."

The same activists who pushed for the law now worry about being caught in it.

The law would also outlaw using amplifiers like megaphones in all public spaces, which would regulate street preachers that Pride organizers find offensive.

As reported in Global News in January:

"Pride Corner on Whyte Avenue and Calgary Trail started when a group routinely showed up to protest a street preacher who was using a loudspeaker to make anti-LGBTQ comments."

“'It is pretty loud and obnoxious, so we wanted to do something about it,' said Erynn Christie with Pride Corner. 'So we started it. Pride Corner’s on board to see this bylaw go through.'"

Except now they are not, because the law doesn't only target Pride Corner's political enemies. It targets all.

An Edmonton Journal report published Wednesday night shows Pride Corner's recent mugging by reality.

"Claire Pearen, with Pride Corner on Whyte, a local organization dedicated to creating safer spaces on the streets of Edmonton and protesting anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, worries the bylaw would limit people’s right to protest."

“'We are experiencing unprecedented circumstances both locally and abroad that draw people and communities together that advocate for these causes. Our freedom to speak cannot be limited by a permit,' said Pearen."

Bylaw 20700, proposed earlier this year, affronts civil liberties and the right to peaceful assembly.

Proponents of the law know it. That's why they made it an all-encompassing omnibus proposal full of everything, even good things that promote safety, public health and civilized behaviour in publicly-funded facilities.

The bylaw provides fines for spitting in public, biking off a designated park pathway on the grass, public drug use, panhandling, fare dodging, loitering on transit, and ice skating on the North Saskatchewan River.

Bylaw 20700 would even require life jackets to be worn in any vessel on the North Saskatchewan River.

If councillors vote down the bylaw because it includes anti-free speech and unconstitutional measures, they vote down all the good things shoehorned into a bad regulation.

The common sense measures in the legislation are a waste when it's polluted with these protest poison pills.

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