The Canadian Constitution Foundation has filed a notice of application for judicial review challenging a Calgary bylaw that prohibits certain types of protests near city libraries and recreation centres.

The Calgary protest ban bylaw violates core democratic rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly guaranteed by the Charter. While enacted with good intentions, this bylaw puts the City of Calgary in the position of picking and choosing what types of protests are permitted and which are prohibited.

This is beyond the scope of what a city government should be doing. And it also cannot be justified in a free and democratic society.

The bylaw only restricts certain types of protests, namely protests that express “objection or disapproval” towards ideas or actions related to “race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation”.

The bylaw prohibits protests of this nature on publicly accessible property within 100 meters of an entrance to a recreation facility or a library. The bylaw comes with serious penalties, including a $10,000 fine and a term of imprisonment.

It is not for the government to tell Canadians what they may or may not protest. This proposed bylaw and the $10,000 fine and threat of jail time is unconstitutional and should never have been passed.

Freedoms of Expression, Association & Assembly: Challenge against Calgary protest ban

CCF Launch: May 15, 2023
Jurisdiction: Alberta
Status: Ongoing
Next Key Date: TBA

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