Swearing Up A Storm

The town of Taber, Alberta passed a bylaw that banned swearing, spitting and yelling in their town.  It’s what the people of Taber wanted and it’s what the people of Taber put in place.

But people who weren’t from Taber and who weren’t living in Taber decided to make the matter a tempest in a teacup.

Two twenty-somethings in Edmonton decided to start a Kickstarter campaign to bring Kevin Bacon to the town of Taber.  In the style of “Footloose” (the movie from the 80s), they wanted the actor to dance Taber back to its previous swearing, spitting, yelling days.

What these two brave souls overlooked was that the town of Taber — like any other place across Canada — has the right to set their community standards.

In Taber, they would rather not have a community where people swear, spit, and yell thereby disturbing other residents’ right to peaceful enjoyment of their property.

Making this objection to Taber’s bylaw all the more surprising is the fact that a few communities in Alberta have had the exact same bylaw for years:  Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Innisfail, Lacombe, Wetaskiwin, Grande Prairie, Cold Lake and Olds all have similarly worded bylaws in place, and have had since before Taber.

Where was all the self-righteous, indignant outrage by disgruntled people who are offended by common, everyday, decent behavior when the bylaws were passed in those towns and cities?

Travis Wilson posted a comment on Facebook that seems to be one that non-residents repeat from discussion to discussion.


I would strongly recommend that Travis Wilson and others like him take that refresher course referred to, and then I strongly suggest those same people read Section 175 of the Criminal Code of Canada.  Under “Cause Disturbance” they may be surprised to learn that in Canada it is a crime to yell, shout, and swear.

Section 175 of the Criminal Code of Canada
For those who insist that they have a right to disturb other people’s peaceful enjoyment of their property and peaceful enjoyment of common areas in their town, it’s time they realized that those privileges that are extended to them do not include infringing on the rights of others.  And for those who insist that communities don’t have a right to set and maintain standards for their town, it’s time they realized that the privileges extended to them as do not include dictating to others what standards they can insist on for their town.

If you want to swear, spit, or yell for the simple sake of swearing, spitting, or yelling, Taber — and many other towns across Canada — don’t want you doing it in their town.  And if two guys in Edmonton, Alberta want to swear, spit, or yell for the simple sake of swearing, spitting, or yelling, let them do it in Edmonton, Alberta and deal with the consequences therein.

Elyse Bruce

SUGGESTED READING

Community Standards Bylaw Passed
http://www.tabertimes.com/news/2015/03/04/community-standards-bylaw-passed/

Taber Bylaw Attention Blown Out Of Proportion
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/taber-bylaw-attention-blown-out-of-proportion-say-residents-in-alberta-town-1.2995112

Taber, Alberta Hurt and Saddened by Online Backlash to Bylaw on Swearing, Public Assembly
http://metronews.ca/news/calgary/1308978/taber-hurt-and-saddened-by-backlash-to-bylaw-on-swearing-and-public-assembly/

Embarrassing New Bylaw in Taber
http://metronews.ca/news/calgary/1307772/embarrassing-new-bylaw-in-taber-alberta-outlaws-swearing-restricts-public-assembly/

Town of Taber Alberta Moves To Ban Swearing
http://www.calgarysun.com/2015/03/10/town-of-taber-alberta-moves-to-ban-swearing

Taber Police Angry at Town’s Black Eye Over Bad Behavior Bylaw
http://globalnews.ca/news/1882638/taber-police-angry-at-towns-black-eye-over-bad-behaviour-bylaw/

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