Stop Calgary Bylaw Amendment Banning Pro-Life Signs Near Schools
Governments in Canada at all levels have frequently used the law to censor the pro-life message. In 2018 for example, both Alberta and Ontario passed legislation to make it illegal to protest abortion near abortion clinics. In Calgary, we are now seeing attempts from the City Council to censor Canadians’ rights to peacefully assemble and stand up for the unborn.
The Calgary City Council has proposed amending the Temporary Signs on Highways Bylaw to ban signs larger than three-and-a-half by five inches that display “messaging that publicly expresses an opinion on an issue or cause” from being within 150 metres of school property. This would mean that anyone near a school in Calgary, including students, could face a fine of $1000 if they use large posters to peacefully advocate for a cause that’s important to them.
Moreover, this proposed amendment is a direct response to the work done by pro-life activists in Calgary, specifically by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR). One of the various forms of activism CCBR engages in is having conversations with high school students about abortion while carrying signs showing abortion victim photography. In Canada, teenagers legally can and do have abortions, so there are no legitimate grounds for believing that pro-life activists should not be engaging with them, especially when considering that much of the media that teenagers regularly engage with are filled with left-wing and pro-abortion messages. Since they’ve started doing this, many Albertan politicians have stated a desire to use the law to censor pro-life messages around schools.
The bylaw amendment would greatly restrict CCBR’s ability to spread the pro-life message to students in Calgary. According to CCBR’s western outreach director, “a 150 metre safe zone around the entire school property — not simply a main exit, not simply all of the exits but the entire property — will effectively completely nullify any opportunity our team has to engage students in these conversations”.
Calgary’s bylaw amendment would also hinder students’ ability to advocate for causes important to them. Rather than censoring a particular message, Calgary’s city council has decided to effectively prevent anyone from being able to use a sign to advocate peacefully for a cause if they happen to be within 150 metres of a school.
Whether you’re from Calgary, Alberta, or anywhere else in Canada, it is necessary we stand up to politicians that want to tell us where we can and cannot peacefully assemble to advocate for moral issues. Whether you’re a student, a pro-life activist, or passionate about any other cause, you have a right to peacefully protest. Since Calgary’s bylaw amendment is targetted at pro-life activists, believers in the right to life have a duty to stand against this.
So tell the Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, not to undermine the freedom of peaceful assembly!
And if you live in Calgary, contact your Ward Councillor, and demand that they vote against the proposed amendment to the Temporary Signs on Highways Bylaw when it comes time for the Calgary City Council to vote on it.
New bylaw would ban large advocacy signs near Calgary schools (Global News) https://globalnews.ca/news/7325383/new-bylaw-ban-large-advocacy-signs-calgary-schools/
Sign this petition now!
Stop the Calgary Bylaw Amendment Banning Pro-Life Signs Near Schools