Geoff Meggs Assures Vancouver Residents Fridge Magnets Will be Safe During Olympics
Vancouver city council has bowed to public pressure and is reconsidering parts of the controversial 2010 Olympics “sign” bylaw. Critics have charged that the bylaw would have significantly infringed on the freedom of expression that the people of Vancouver have enjoyed as a result of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
On Thursday, November 26th City officials admitted that the bylaw language needed some clarification. The sign language was so vague that the definition of what would be an illegal sign left many people believing that the Vancouver police and bylaw enforcement officers would be kicking down doors and confiscating illegal signs.
On October 23rd Chief Constable Jim Chu had said that the Vancouver Police Department would not be entering homes to confiscate signs.
“We are not the sign police.” Was how Chief Constable Chu had put it.
Now Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs has further reassured the residents of Vancouver that not only are their homemade signs safe from the police, their fridge magnets and t-shirts are now also safe.
“The city was never intending, under any scenario, to kick down doors and take fridge magnets or tear off their t-shirts.”
So now Vancouver residents can feel another degree of relief that not only are their signs safe from the police, their fridge magnets and t-shirts are also safe.
However that is not enough for Chris Shaw, Olympics critic. His lawsuit to contest the bylaw will continue because he still has concerns about the bylaw.
"It seems that they're still distinguishing between two kinds of free expression — one is to celebrate and one is to dissent," Shaw said when asked why he is continuing with his lawsuit.
The changes to the sign bylaw will be presented to city council this week.