Thanks to Murray Pletsch for bringing this to our attention. Polite action is called for - tell them NO!
It has come to our attention that the City of Waterloo in Ontario Canada is considering
implementing a bylaw that would ban photography at all municipal cemeteries.
The proposed bylaw: "Photography: No person shall cause or permit the taking
of any photographic or video imaging within any Cemetery except with the
prior permission of the Manager."
This would mean that as of September 1st, no one would be allowed to take
photographs or video in any municipally owned cemetery operated by the City
of Waterloo without prior permission.
In other words, you could not take a photograph or video of a headstone you
own without prior permission. Or a photograph / video of a loved ones
headstone. Or request that someone take a photograph / video on your behalf
without prior permission. The bylaw does not provide guidelines for granting
or denying permission, only that the manager would decide.
Approval of this bylaw would also set a precedent for other municipalities
in Ontario to follow.
It would have a major impact on genealogy, and not just in terms of projects
like ours (think of the number of cemetery photographs you currently use in
your personal genealogy research!)
There are also multiple businesses and organizations that use cemetery
photographs, including the government.
Luckily there is time to stop this bylaw from being approved, and your help
is need to make this happen.
The bylaw changes were submitted to The Bereavement Authority of Ontario for
approval. The BAO are the ones who ultimately decide if cemetery bylaws will
Before September 1st, please take a moment and send them a polite written
message to let them know what you think about this bylaw and how it would
impact you personally.
Bereavement Authority of Ontario
Toll Free: 844-493-6356
Mail: Bereavement Authority of Ontario, 100 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 505,
Toronto, ON M2N 6N5
Need more info? The cemetery bylaws were discussed by the City of Waterloo
Council at their July 24th meeting. A copy of the agenda can be read here:
The proposed cemetery bylaws are on pages 101-177, the clause regarding
photography is on page 113.