Immediate Release: July 20, 2009

On
the Tuesday agenda, Council is set to hear administrative reports on
by-law changes for the City (A4), as well as involvement in the Olympic
Torch Relay (A12), both available at http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20090721/regu20090721ag.htm.

COPE councillors Ellen Woodsworth and David Cadman have several questions about the implications to civil
liberties and freedom of expression with regard to both reports. The questions include the following:

–    timeline and locations of street closures
–    why the date for commercial sponsor building wraps has been moved up for the third time
–    if the by-law changes were developed with a reading of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
–    what the procedure will be for dealing with free leaflets and newspapers (from business or residents)
–    what constitutes "creating a disturbance or public nuisance" that is different from the criminal code
–    what the City is doing to ensure freedom of expression along the torch relay route

According
to COPE Councilor Woodsworth, “it is crucial that we have a clear
timeline and a sunset clause and that all bylaws are reviewed by the
COV legal department to ensure they comply with the Charter of Rights
and Freedoms.”

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Information: Rachel Marcuse, COPE 604-312-9057, <rachel@cope.bc.ca>

COPE wants answers on civil liberties implications for City by-law changes and involvement in the torch relay

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