After passing a bylaw that converts the peaceful expression of the “wrong” ideas in public places into illegal “street harassment,” the woke, progressive, social justice warriors who currently dominate Calgary’s City Council, have taken their war against Charter freedoms a step further by outlawing peaceful protests entirely, more or less.. GondekCalgary's Mayor Jyoti Gondek .Calgarians expressing opinions that Mayor Gondek and city council dislike may now do so only in places where they cannot be seen or heard, namely 100-meters away from the entrances of designated libraries and recreation facilities..Freedom of expression is meaningless if citizens are only allowed to say what's approved by the government, or if expression is banished from public spaces..At least 34 Calgarians have been charged under this plainly unconstitutional bylaw..Bear in mind obstructing people from leaving and entering buildings is already prohibited by section 430 of the Criminal Code, which makes it illegal to “obstruct, interrupt, or interfere with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.”.When municipal politicians pass bylaws against behaviour that is already criminal, they are merely virtue-signaling..Yes, there are limits to free speech. For example, free speech does not extend to blocking access to someone going about their business and engaging in legal activities, such as entering and leaving public facilities and private buildings. Nor does free speech extend to causing a disturbance by way of excessive noise. Nor does the right to protest peacefully exist in every public place, the insides of courtrooms and libraries being two examples. Nor does free speech include a right to utter threats, or to have any physical contact with another person; these are also criminal offences..But apart from these reasonable legal prohibitions, Canadians have every right to express their views in public places, regardless of the content of the expression..In its 1992 decision in R. v. Zundel, the Supreme Court of Canada explained all communications which convey or attempt to convey meaning are protected by the Charter, unless the physical form by which the communication is made (for example, a violent act) excludes protection..The content of the communication is irrelevant..The purpose of the Charter’s free expression guarantee is to promote truth, self-fulfillment, and political and social participation. That purpose extends to the protection of minority beliefs which the majority regards as wrong or false..Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek seems to believe it is wrong or false to oppose drag queen story readings in public libraries. She is entitled to express her views, but not to impose her views on others by effectively banning peaceful public protests through a so-called “Safe and Inclusive Access” bylaw..Freedom of expression necessarily includes the right to choose high-visibility locations to hold up signs or banners, sing or chant, hand out literature, gather signatures on a petition, and have a speaker get up on her soapbox. Protests are often held at the locations where injustices (or perceived injustices) are actually occurring..Thus, when Calgary’s City Council uses its coercive power to relegate peaceful protesters to obscure locations where they cannot be seen or heard, this amounts to crushing a fundamental Charter freedom on which our democracy depends. The point of protests is to be seen and heard..Needing to be 100 meters away from high-visibility and high-traffic areas reduces freedom of expression to near irrelevance. Protecting entrances from obstruction is already taken care of by the Criminal Code, and does not require a bylaw that imposes up to $10,000 in fines and up to a year in jail for peacefully protesting less than the length of four swimming pools away from an entrance..Moreover, the Charter’s protection for free speech applies not only to speakers, but also to listeners and potential listeners who have the right to hear diverse points of view, and to decide for themselves what is true and false rather than having Mayor Gondek decide on their behalf. Calgary’s “Safe and Inclusive Access” bylaw violates the rights of all Calgarians, speakers and listeners, and attacks diversity of thought and belief..Repressive regimes always take great pains to ensure their subjects are kept 'safe' from ideas which the regime believes to be wrong or false. In the past — and still today — those living in communist North Korea, national socialist Germany, theocratic Iran, Putin’s Russia, communist China and many other places have been kept very safe from ideas that the regime dislikes..In a free society, nobody can be 'safe' from being exposed to opinions that one might find distasteful, wrong, false, hurtful or hateful. The 'safety' which woke activists on Calgary City Council are promising is attractive to those who support children being exposed to drag queens at public libraries..But beware of the erosion of freedom, because the demons of censorship cannot be controlled after their release..If Calgary's city council can ban speech which current politicians dislike, then a different crop of politicians can ban other speech in the future. If a future government bans woke and progressive speech, social justice warriors will not be able to rely on their freedom of expression to defend themselves, because it will no longer exist.