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McIver wants protest bylaw to be reviewed

A 15-year-old bylaw prohibits people from holding political protests in front of city hall, but Ald. Ric McIver is looking to change that.

A 15-year-old bylaw prohibits people from holding political protests in front of city hall, but Ald. Ric McIver is looking to change that.

He will bring the issue to the city council meeting Monday, and is hoping council will vote to investigate the current rules regarding demonstrations at city hall, Olympic Plaza and Stephen Avenue Mall.

If council votes yes, recommendations will be brought forth to possibly change the bylaw before June.

“Important social changes in our city right now are brought about through peaceful protest,” McIver said.

“We are a democratic country, a democratic city and we should allow participation in political protests and free speech. Rather than getting angry about it, let’s just fix it.”

Bruce Foster, chair of political science at Mount Royal College, said unless protests turn violent he doesn’t see the harm in allowing them at city hall.

“Protests are a staple in democracy,” Foster said. “I’ll bet though, some of McIver’s fellow aldermen are not going to like him bringing this to council. It’s going to shine a public eye on those who don’t favour political protesting.”

 
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