Published: Friday, December 29, 2006
A street ministry that has drawn more than 100 noise complaints can continue using loudspeakers in Calgary parks until the courts decide whether to uphold the city’s ban on them, says the lawyer representing the group.
On Thursday, city officials agreed to temporarily extend a green space permit to the Street Church Ministries until the matter has been decided by the courts, said Ivan Bernardo, the lawyer representing the group.
"I think it makes a lot of sense. It was a reasonable request to maintain the status quo for the time being until such time as a judge can fully hear this," Bernardo said.
City officials couldn’t be reached for comment, but in the past have cited noise complaints from nearby residents as the reason for the ban.
The deal comes one day before Bernardo was to seek an injunction allowing the ministry to continue using speakers in the park across from the Calgary Drop-In Centre.
Ministry member Artur Pawlowski argues permit restrictions violate his religious rights.
"If they can . . . consider our constitutional and charter rights, justice will be done," Pawlowski said.
A tentative court date for the case to be heard has been set for Feb. 5.