Street preacher vows to ignore city permit rules
The city may have pulled his permit, but a controversial Calgary street preacher says that won’t stop him from spreading the word of God in a downtown park. Art Pawlowski said he still plans to preach to the homeless this Friday evening — and he will defy a ban on using a loudspeaker.
"I believe they will come and seize the equipment," he said. "The speaker belongs to us and the volunteers have already told me they will not let them take it."
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 his use of loudspeakers. Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench upheld the permit’s rules, and a defiant Pawlowski was issued more than $400 in tickets earlier this month.
Pawlowski said he has helped more than 400 people get off the streets, and accuses the city of mishandling Calgary’s homeless problem. "They shovel them into one big place without addressing the real problem — and the real problem is they have lost hope," he said. "You preach to them and speak over and over again that they don’t have to die homeless, they will believe it and they will be off the street."