Calgary officials have handed a street preacher more than $400 in tickets after using loudspeakers to spread the word of God.
Art Pawlowski has been using amplified sound to bring his message to street people during three-times-a week gatherings at a small green space across from the Drop-in Centre, a homeless shelter.
After complaints from neighbours, the city issued him a 2007 parks permit that bans him from using loudspeakers to preach.
Court of Queen’s Bench ruled on April 5 that Pawlowski must abide by the restrictions on his permit. Pawlowski was handed a $50 ticket on Friday, but he remained defiant at his Sunday service and bylaw officers gave him another $365 worth of tickets, in part for driving a truck onto the grass.
He told CBC News that he is obeying the law and would continue using amplification to get his message out. "We took hundreds of people off the street by repetition of the message of hope. And hope is what they need, in the name of Jesus."
On Friday, city bylaw director Bill Bruce said the noise restrictions have nothing to do with religion. "There is a permit in place, the court has said the permit stands, and it needs to be honoured."