Vaughan introduces bylaw banning protests within 100m of places of worship

Vaughan deals with troubles by introducing 'bubbles' (bubble zones designed to protect 'vulnerable social infrastructure,' that is).

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It would seem desperate times call for desperate measures.

Case in point: the pro-Hamas hooligans truly outdid themselves in March when they ventured near two different Thornhill, Ont., synagogues to do what they do so often: namely, chant coded messages regarding genocide of the Jewish people (“from the river to the sea”, “intifada”, “go back to Europe.”)

And no, the demonstrations were not “mostly peaceful.” The hobos for Hamas contingent resorted to vandalism and even fisticuffs. It was only a huge police presence that prevented things from really getting ugly.

So it was that Vaughan Mayor Steven Del Duca would later introduce a motion entitled “By-Law to Protect Vaughn’s Vulnerable Social Infrastructure” (Thornhill is part of the City of Vaughan.)

The motion passed unanimously.

Currently city staff are creating the nitty-gritty fine-print to draft a formal bylaw that will prohibit protests which “intimidate or incite hatred, intolerance or violence” within 100 metres of the city’s “vulnerable social infrastructure” such as all places of worship and schools.

At a news conference the following day, Mayor Del Duca stated: “We witnessed large-scale protests here in the city of Vaughan and Thornhill that were extremely disturbing to many of our residents. Those demonstrations occurred near synagogues, schools… and the images that emerged from those demonstrations were extremely jarring and not at all in keeping with what the overwhelming majority of Vaughan residents have become accustomed to, or what they are prepared to accept.”

Those found in contravention of the bylaw can face a fine of up to $100,000.

Del Duca said the city is communicating with York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween, who also supports the so-called “bubble zone” bylaw.

Several people were on hand to make depositions at the council meeting, both pro and con.

Rabbis, members of the Jewish community, and their allies were supportive of the bylaw; pro-Hamas supporters stood against it. (Oddly, a gaggle of kaffiyeh-wearing women outside Vaughan City Hall interrupted our report by smearing Vaughan City Councillor Gila Martow as a “racist.”

When asked why Councillor Martow, who is Jewish, is a racist, the reply was: “Because she’s a racist.” Maybe in their minds being Jewish is the same thing as being a racist – which would actually make them racist? Alas, such is the intellect level when it comes to Team Hamas…

Now the question arises: once the bylaw is formally in place, will it indeed be enforced? If so, what will a typical fine amount to? And given the blowback, we suspect a court challenge regarding the bylaw is surely in the offing. Stay tuned…

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