Cornwall Ontario – Whether you agree with his beliefs or not you have to give Pastor Tom Newton of the Calvary Baptist Church in Cornwall an “A” for consistency.
Pastor Tom is rarely without a picket sign and his guitar at events in the Cornwall area. He has never been violent, and while some may not agree with his message and positions he has never been charged with any hate crimes.
However a recent letter from the City to him regarding the upcoming Jehovah Witness Watchtower Conference at the Civic Complex may have crossed a line or two.
The letter, signed by Bob Peter’s ex wife, Janice Robinson, states that the good Pastor essentially cannot walk on the grounds of the city owned public property even though the Jehovah’s rent the inside facilities. When asked for comment she ducked sending it over to Manager Jamie Fawthrop who said that complaints of harassment from the Jehovah Witnesses and Ribfest led to the letter which is odd as the Jehovah Witnesses themselves have been involved in some freedom of religion litigation over the years.
Mr. Fawthrop, speaking to CFN, stated that Pastor Newton was banned because of “harassment”, but couldn’t really define the harassment other than to say that some didn’t like what he was saying. Pastor Tom stays on the public areas of the park and doesn’t go into the building to spread his message. Likewise he doesn’t use any electronic devices to amplify his voice, but a simple cone, akin to an old fashioned megaphone. Looking at the map above, the red lines essentially show that the City is trying to ban the Pastor from simply walking with his sign and preaching his religion on all green areas of the property.
CFN called the Jehovah Witness offices in Toronto and spoke with a media person who identified himself as Jonathan Ursuliak who stated that he wasn’t aware of any complaint from the group and that he’d send in a statement which never arrived.
Police Chief Dan Parkinson, himself a deacon of a church that is heavily funded by the city to provide daycare, refused comment.
Pastor Tom said that he was waiting to hear from the Chief and a few others and that this isn’t his first challenge.
He stated that he’d been arrested before, but charges dropped when he brought in a charter lawyer.
The Jehovah Witnesses have used the Civic Complex due to its inexpensive fees and proximity to Montreal, Ottawa, and the US border. They even are allowed to park their cars on green grass areas of the park with no parking tickets issued. Mr. Fawthrop cited that many prefer to picnic in the park (rather than support area restaurants) which led to the complaints of harassment.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? You can post your comments below.
Mr. Fawthrop did send a comment for publication which we are adding now. It should be noted, as above, that what the harassment claim actually is has not been defined nor evidenced.
There has been a long standing issue with respect to Pastor Newton harassing Watchtower delegates during their conventions. It is for this reason that Pastor Newton has been instructed to refrain from entering onto the Civic Complex premises, including a portion of Lamoureux Park for the specific times and dates of the Watchtower conventions. These areas are under the care and control of the Watchtower delegation by way of a rental agreement, therefore during these specific times the Watchtower delegation has the authority to ask anyone causing a disturbance to leave the identified space. Pastor Newton has been advised that he is still welcome in the other areas of Lamoureux Park located outside of the areas specified in the rental agreement.
UPDATE 12:12 PM
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have sent in a letter regarding the City’s actions.
Dear Mr. Gilcig:
Thank you for reaching out to us regarding your concern about the letter issued to Pastor Tom Newton. We cherish our freeness of speech and appreciate the laws that protect our peaceful worship. As indicated by the letter, this is an initiative that was undertaken by the city of Cornwall.
For many years, we have held annual conventions in the city of Cornwall. As in all other cities, these conventions are open to the public. In fact, the convention page of our official Website www.jw.org announces the theme, dates and locations well in advance and the local congregations make an effort to reach all in the community with a personal invitation. This year, the convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, entitled “Don’t Give Up!” shows how to enjoy a happy life now and gain a real hope for the future. For more information on the convention and how it will benefit those in your community, we invite you to reach out to our local convention media representative, Mr. Wayne Gratton at 613-662-7426.
If you have other questions regarding our beliefs, values and practices, please communicate with our Public Information Desk using the contact information provided below.
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
‘Though “Pastor” Tom’s message is sometimes more that of a “Pasture” Tom, the tiny wee minds and neediness of city coffers threaten basic freedoms guaranteed by our constitution.
And in its stupidity the City has tarnished the Witness organization; which is most unlikely to have immerse itself in the muck of a formal complaint to city officials.
Janice Robinson…Show the proof of a complaint!!
Reading this is Pastor Newton going to show up without his megaphone then. I read it is sounds okay if just goes there without the Megaphone. lol
I support the good rev. I do not know him personally, nor am I a member of his church, but I am with him 100%. I am a tax payer in the city of Cornwall, and I have been so for over 25 years. I have walked past the rev. And others in his group with no problem. He has every right to visit and protest on public land without fear of arrest. I have never seen the babtist harass any passer by.
The hilariously screaming irony in all of this is that the Witnesses — a group well known for invading people’s privacy by showing up at your door on Sunday mornings — is claiming that Pastor Tom is harassing them. What a bunch of lunacy. The city has no business barring public protest, period. Agree or not with Tom’s views, allow him to protest. Witnesses and the city need to back off.
Seems like a common theme here in Cornwall, being guilty until proven innocent. Every infringement of our charter rights must be challenged, or we risk losing those rights. The lgbtq community knows what it’s like to have your voice suppressed and told that your presence is not wanted, but they showed us that EVERYONE is valuable and MUST be accepted. Feelings don’t trump rights.
Frist off I would like to say I am not against any religion or beliefs. But if the Jehovah witness people think what pastor does is harassment,what about them coming to our door and preaching their religion. As a Christian I have my own beliefs and don’t appreciate it when they campaign for their religion. They are the only religion that goes door to door.
Seems to me that it is all about dollars & cents, The J W bring in lots of money to the city, which to this city rates higher than Pastor Tom,s basic freedoms, guaranteed by our constitution, shame
nate if you want to take a shot at someone, especially if you’re related to someone potentially connected to the story, you have to follow the rules.
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I am 100% with Pastor Tom Newton and I am a Catholic. I like Pastor Newton and miss him here on CFN. About Jehovah Witnesses I am dead sent against that. I worked with a girl from a town in Southwestern Ontario here in Ottawa in the government and I have some funny stories about that but I do not answer the door to them and yell out that we are RC’s which scare the hell out of them.
If I went to Cornwall’s Civic Complex and heard Pastor Newton preach I would gladly sit down and listen to what he has to say. Hubby used to listen to preachers from the US preach even though we are Catholics. Everyone has the right to preach their faith. I personally like what Pastor Newton has to say. I have a KJV Bible here given to us by a good Baptist friend.
I’ve locked horns with Newton many times on this site and others over the years because of his loud and public intolerance of religions other than his own, the LGBT community, and even people concerned with the environment or animal well-being. Good call by the City of Cornwall.
Furtz there are many times that you are a real riot of laughter but I am one who does not believe in LGBT as you all well know and I am not a Baptist but an RC. It is all against my faith as it is in Pastor Newton’s as well. LGBT is not natural at all and something went wrong with people’s cells in the body to make them weird. I worked with one gay man and tons of laughs. OMG having me around.
Jules people are people. What they do in their lives should be up to them unless they try to force their beliefs on others…sorta like what you just posted….
I’m on the fence with this one.One disturbing fact is starting to emerge in a lot of places.People seem to prefer to take their problems, concerns, etc with government, organizations, etc to media or social media instead of taking it to the place it should start at.Perfect example is the story in the CSF about the 9 hr wait at the CCH. No complaint has been sent to the CCH, but it went to the CSF?
Hugger anecdotally I think it’s simply because people rarely get results taking issues directly. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Of course if there are too many of those they may simply become irrelevant. It’s becoming easier to hold people accountable who for decades have been sucking the taxpayer dry without results like say….Jeanette Despatie who’s far too political for her positions and in my opinion needs to be removed from the Hospital and CAS.
I agree. I guess I grew up and was raised in a different era. It’s not how I would of handled either of these situations.
The JW representative states this was a city initiative. So brilliant move there Janice, at the Planning, Parks and Recreation Department, you’ve made the JH gathering a lightning rod for supporters of free speech.
Hope organizations offended by the JW sect (i.e. ProChoice, LGBTQ, et al) don’t attend the convention site and establishments the JW frequent (Nav Centre, Tim’s, etc.) and make noise.
I think the blame on this might lie with Mark Boileau. Many at City Hall don’t fart the wrong way without upstairs approval and all communications regarding this Ice Rink like mess were cc’d to him by City manager’s working under him. You have to remember that he’s the same rocket scientist that pulled me into a meeting with former disgraced CAO Paul Fitzpatrick complaining that my use of the term “Fitzy had a hard on for CFN” literally had a phallic meaning….having moments like that face to face are far weirder than posting about them…At the end of the day the City may have upset a good long term tenant. Embarrassed itself again, and if the good pastor hires a Charter lawyer (one local lawyer already offered to help) cost taxpayers a load of cash.
One thing about Cornwall is that it never changes except for certain things. I think that if I were living down there and out in the open in the parks, etc. I would be roaring with so much laughter that I could not be contained so easily. People don’t know their rights and don’t stand up for themselves. Cornwall is so mighty laid back that it is totally different to Ottawa.
I don’t care what imaginary god or asinine religion anyone subscribes to. But when someone decides to make a career of preaching their BS on public sidewalks and in other public spaces, and generally being a pain in the butt, that’s when they should be shut down. That’s why they have their own meeting halls where people can go if they want to listen to preachers ranting about whatever.
Furtz how do feel towards Muslims? The Quran clearly states that homosexuality is to be punished by death. Is that more or less extreme than the baptists? Fortunately Furtz Canada does not have free speech. All of us are subject to censorship. How democratic and free.
David Oldham -“Is that more or less extreme than the baptists?”. Christians under the New Covenant of Grace do not put, nor do they call for the death of homosexuals. Homosexuality is still sin according to God’s Holiness [1Cor . 6:9-11], and if such sinful lifestyle is not repented of with evidence of forgiveness of sins, and new life in Christ, one will face eternal Judgment before God.
I tell all of you frankly that I do not accept homosexuality or anything weird like tranny or whatever they may call it. I will be polite as can be but I would walk off knowing that those people would be pushing their weirdness on me. I see plenty here in Ottawa even way back in the mid 70’s era two men holding hands and dressed the same, etc. Plenty of gay bars here. NO TANKS!
In the Islamic Quran Muslims are not allowed to integrate with Christians, they do call for the death and beheading of gays as well as non believers. The Baptists are Christians and good Christians and you dare not swear, gamble or anything around these good people. I stand up with Pastor Newton and he is a good Christian man.
Pastor Tom you may already be advised that your charter rights would be breached/violated if the City of Cornwall attempted to impede your presence on public land. Call a lawyer who specializes in charter law and stand up for your rights. All the best Pastor Tom.
I fully agree with Mr. Oldham of getting a good constitutional lawyer and Pastor if you have to go outside of Cornwall to get one please do. I am 100% against Cornwall for what they did to you. I wouldn’t ever live down there ever again. I will go down to the market that Jamie recommended but I would never live down there. Cornwall is mighty strange that I know. Stand up for your rights.
Jules you know you want to move back. It’s an easier life for seniors in many ways. And of course why not live in a place instead of making it better. Look how cities like Detroit are starting to come back to life.
Gee I need to get myself some glasses desperately. I just read Jamie’s post about Detroit coming back – Jamie have you been hitting the sauce already. My good man everything in Detroit is all boarded up and tons of gangs and problems like you wouldn’t believe including Baltimore, Chicago, LA and elsewhere – people are leaving those cities and more.
Jules Detroit is starting to come back. They even just added my favorite street cars.
I better not let hubby know about Cornwall because just this morning he hinted at going back and I told him that I had to find him a good doctor as well as one for the head. There is nothing at all in Cornwall my good man nothing. With industries gone, many stores closing up, high taxes and what is left – nothing. It takes good money to keep things going and everything left.
Jamie did you know that Cornwall was called “the town of idle men” and yes this is well known in Cornwall for a great many years. When you have a town or a country that cannot produce then it isn’t a country at all. Jobs have left for the lowest common denominator so as the big corporate elites can feather their pockets with more money at poor peoples expenses.
Jules you’re a retired senior. Much less crime here than in Ottawa and it’s got a lower cost of life. There seems to even be better health care in the area as long as you don’t get sick 🙂
Jamie the only thing good about Cornwall is that it is very small to get around in. The distances here is crazy and you spend a great deal of time on buses. Some of the bus numbers have changed and I will have to get in touch with OC Transpo to know what bus to take and where it is going. I am usually in the car with hubby but there are times that we take the bus for downtown. It is crazy.
Jamie you lived in the US for a time and you know that there are many street preachers along with everything else. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and Pastor Newton is entitled to his. If someone can take this man’s freedom of speech away then we have to take away the gay parades and everything else that I am against including JW’s. That is coming my good man that is coming.
This is the city that has an abysmal record on whistleblowers. Acknowledging rights and democracy is not a priority of this sorry little town. Lack of leadership has been real drag on progress. Cornwall continues to be negatively impacted by this type of decision making.
Truth is fearless, bold, and passionate. It is not intimidated by threats, but rises to the occasion in reasonable discourse. Truth has nothing to hide and requires not the protection of laws, civil magistrates, or police for survival. Unlike error, it relies only on it’s own merits for legitimacy and authority. It alone answers the age old question, “what is truth? “
I miss Pastor Newton on this site and yes I am an RC and I like the mans preaching. When I come here on Jamies site I could see that something is missing and the good Pastor is one of a few that I miss. When the JWs are allowed to preach then Pastor Newton should be allowed to do so. I like Pastor Newton and let the man preach.
Jules… Newton has a facebook page where you can follow all his hateful BS.
Furtz if I came across Pastor Newton in the park in Cornwall I would have a great deal of respect for the man. Our faiths differ greatly. Catholic priests who sodomize young boys and they get away with it and then you call Pastor Newton hateful. No no no Furtz what the Catholic priests have been doing for hundreds of years is a mortal sin and they get away with it on earth.
Thinking only Catholic priests do this is wrong. It happens in all facets, factions, etc of society. Wakey, wakey……….
Furtz Jamie has suffered a lot in Cornwall and for things that he never did. Put yourself in his place and to be accused of things that you didn’t do and this is what Pastor Newton is also going through. You are the same faith as Pastor Newton and I am shocked. There was someone defending the Good Pastor and I like Pastor Newton and I am of a very different faith. My respect to the Good Pastor
Furtz I had a grandmother (moms mother) who used to sit in her rocking chair back in the 50s and early 60s era and had her prayer beads with her and the old woman did bad things and I wont go into any of that because it is personal and hurtful. Don’t go against Pastor Newton and he is trying to bring people in the true light of God and not to lose their souls. Respect the man Furtz.
Jules… I am an adherent of Newton’s asinine faith? Seriously? That is too funny! I am a devout Pastafarian, and believe in the ONLY true god… The Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Furtz I read something where someone posted about the Flying Spaghetti Monster and I roared with laughter thinking that it was you. I don’t know where people got that other than our Furtz. LOL LOL. ROLF! Furtz I was not always a believer but I think that it was close to ten years where I changed and became a believer. I like Pastor Newton and he is not of my faith but a good person.
The Bible condemns all promiscuity to prevent the spread of STDs. Like what happened to the gay community in the 1980s.
Or In Africa in 2005 where AIDS had killed all the adults in some regions. Missionaries moved in and taught the importance of chastity and fidelity reducing the rate of spread by 70% in 1 year. Is that to simple to work?
-Dr. Tony Campolo
The JW don’t like Tom Newton because he confronts the false teaching that Jesus is an angel not God the Son. Matthew 1:23 Immanuel means with us is God
Attention Jules and Furtz
In the Old Testament in Leviticusthe rules for controlling infectious agents was laid out 3000ish years before medical sciencist figured out what microbes were. How did they know?
Pastor Tom Newton should have defended himself saying Exodus 20:16 you must not testify falsely as a witness against your fellow man. Also Exodus 23:1-7
The people who made these false charges will burn in the lake of fire. Revelation 20:10