May 28, 2024

Mayor Naheed Nenshi, please clarify…

Mayor Nenshi

mayor-nenshi.jpgMr. Mayor, I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify something with you. Just a little bit over a month ago, you sir spoke to the media declaring that the City of Calgary City Hall Atrium is the living room of the city and that it should be available and accessible to all Calgarians. You further made the point that that is not just for Calgarians that some may like, but the public spaces are for all Calgarians, even the ones that some people might not like.

Sir, in this regard, we agree with you one hundred percent. After all, public spaces and public offices are paid for out of citizens, that is tax payers, wallets. That’s why we find it such a shock that your own personnel, Corporate Security, would not respect your public statements. In fact, even though we told them a few times about your right approach to democracy and your kind invitation, to use the public space, they completely ignored it. From our perspective, it was clear that there was a new climate at City Hall since you were elected. The numerous statements you made during the Occupy Calgary protest about how important it was not to step on the Charter, seemed to us to be wise and understanding of democratic process.

Now, however, we are puzzled. What is your stand on democracy, truly? Did you give the orders to Corporate Security to remove us and if necessary to call the police and make arrests, if we would not comply? Sir, we were told by Owen Key that his department consulted with you regarding our presence at City Hall and he seemed confident that you were in one accord with the actions they were taking to remove us and to impose a no trespass order on us for exercising our "guaranteed fundamental freedoms".

We don’t know what you were told about what transpired, but what we came to do was to read from the Word of God (The Holy Bible), preach a short sermon on the scriptures and sing a few Christian songs, during this time of celebration. We did it during lunch hour so as not to disturb people while they were working. That’s all we had in mind. Just to clarify something, for over a month, we were negotiating to have a permit to do this, with Owen Key, pointing out that the permit process is, under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, unconstitutional and in fact discriminatory.

For a such a terrible "crime" six people were arrested, some of whom had not even received no trespass orders from Corporate Security. Sir, were you behind this? Did Corporate Security act on their own or were they following your orders? Please clarify that.


Artur Pawlowski
Lead Pastor
Street Church Ministries

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