Ottawa By-law officers issue tickets for megaphone use at #CeasefireNow marches despite Charter and Covenant rights

Published by Brent Patterson on

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City of Ottawa By-law officers continue to issue $490 tickets to people using megaphones at #CeasefireNow marches.

The Ottawa Citizen has reported the tickets are being handed out under bylaw No. 2017-255.

Key excerpts from that bylaw include:

It’s not clear the specific intent or past experiences that generated the language in Section 4, point 5 of this by-law.

Ottawa By-law has also tweeted:

It is also not clear how the bylaw on “sound reproduction” has been justified  given Section 2b of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the International Covenant or Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Charter

As noted on the Department of Justice Canada website:

The Covenant

And as noted on the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner website:

The UN Human Rights Committee has also adopted General comment No. 37 (2020) on the right of peaceful assembly (Article 21) that specifically notes megaphones:

Tickets being issued at homes

It also appears that By-law officers are choosing perhaps in at least two instances to issue the tickets at the home of someone who has used a megaphone at a protest rather than at the time of the alleged infraction.

On Instagram, we have noted this post from January 21, 2024 (the video has also been posted by Spring Magazine here).

We express our concern about this situation.

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