Waterloo's cemetery manager could ask you to stop taking photos — but won't

Waterloo has changed its cemetery bylaw when it comes to photos and videos, but it won't really affect you.

Bylaw wording changes, but it won't affect families or history buffs

The City of Waterloo has changed its bylaw for the operation of Parkview and Mount Hope cemeteries to state that no one is permitted to take pictures or video on cemetery grounds. (Google StreetView)

Waterloo councillors have approved a change to the cemetery bylaw that will allow the cemetery manager to ask people to stop taking photos or videos.

But the chances of the manager doing it are slim.

After receiving feedback from the Bereavement Authority of Ontario, the councillors voted in favour of new wording for the photography section of the bylaw that states: 

"The manager for reasons of maintaining care, tranquility and/or peace of the cemetery, may refuse or cause to stop any person causing or taking any photographic or video imaging."

At the end of August, councillors voted against making any changes to the bylaw, saying there have been no problems with people taking inappropriate photos or videos, so a change was unnecessary.

But staff had recommended changes because it's possible someone could act inappropriately and they had no recourse.

"If someone came in and started doing something now and we approached them and said, 'we'd like you to shut that down,' they would say, 'well, show me in the bylaws where I can't be doing this,' and right now, we don't have that," Waterloo's cemetery manager Bryce Crouse told CBC News in August.

The changes in the wording will not affect history buffs or family members.

"We have no intention of interfering with that," Crouse said. "That's part of the family's experience in the cemetery and we're very much supportive of that and would hope that continued in the way that it's always continued. So it's business as usual in that regard."

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