Another civil liberty bit the dust on Parliament Hill on Dominion Day. Namely, we happened upon Pastor Love from Toronto, who was preaching the gospel on Wellington Street. Nobody seemed to mind. Except, that is, several bylaw enforcement officers and Ottawa Police officers. They descended upon Love and demanded to see his “papers” (translation: he was supposed to have applied for a permit from the City of Ottawa in order to do street preaching).
Pastor Love found this to be very odd indeed, given that street preaching has been a time-honoured way of embracing freedom of expression, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. In numerous cities and towns, people of myriad faiths preach on the sidewalk, and permits from municipal bureaucrats are NOT required for this activity.
And really, what harm was Love doing by reciting biblical verses? Wellington Street near Parliament Hill remains closed to vehicle traffic. And he certainly wasn’t impeding the passage of pedestrians. And if Love didn’t leave, he would’ve been fined several hundred dollars. (Maybe instead of preaching peace, he should’ve thrown a hand grenade like our home-grown Al-Qaeda terrorist, Omar Khadr. Then Love wouldn’t be fined, but rather, he might have been rewarded to the tune of several million dollars. Such is the warped logic of the Justin Trudeau Liberals.)
In the final analysis, Ottawa is one weird, weird place since the Freedom Convoy left town. Permits are seemingly required for just about every activity now. Indeed, we even saw police telling an ice cream truck driver to vamoose — can’t have people consuming icy treats on a hot summer day. And besides, maybe the Good Humour Man dropping anchor is just the beginning of yet another — shockers! — trucker freedom convoy!
Visit www.ottawareports.ca for all of our coverage from Ottawa on Canada Day weekend.