UPDATE — Here is an example of one street preacher right here in Edmonton, posted to YouTube just a couple of days ago:
We’ve all seen them. We’ve all heard them. The street preachers that prop themselves on small wooden boxes, and preach about their preferred religion; in most cases, Christianity. They’re there more often than not, usually around the City Centre, Churchill Square and Whyte Avenue areas of Edmonton.
Many Edmontonians have complained about these preachers and their abuse of free speech due to excessive volume. Their preaching being excessive and/or annoying, and quite honestly, I tend to agree. I’m all for freedom of speech and freedom of choice of religion, but propping yourself on a box with a megaphone and broadcasting your religion to the tens of thousands of pedestrians and motorists that roam past these areas every week is taking things a little too far.
City council has listened to the many complaints that have been made about these preachers, and has looked into the issue a little further.
In response to a request Coun. Michael Osry raised earlier this year, city staff studied other cities where different rules are in place for limiting public disturbance from amplified street preachers and others in the public realm.Metro News
It has become apparent that a new bylaw does not need to be created to effectively rid the streets of these preachers and demonstrators for being too excessive in volume. In fact, bylaw enforcement officers can issue these people a ticket if they simply feel they are being too loud.
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It is being said that it is quite possible officers will be checking on these frequented areas regularly to begin enforcing these laws. It is being said they will begin enforcing this because they realize it has been, and will continue to be an issue.
To be frank, religion can’t be learned on a city’s street corner in a matter of minutes, and so with that, I tend to agree that these street preachers do need to come to an end.
via Metro News
This article was written by Jody Mitoma.