The city is the last organization I want making that determination. Either we let it all in - with a ban for the criminal line - or we do none. Some based on what is popular is a horrible road to go down. There are lots of horrible opinions that are hurtful that aren’t criminal.
Now I question why any group can use the atrium, but that isn’t here nor there. Perhaps a belief in access to provide balance compared to the various holiday celebrations?
The Charter doesn’t address most things directly, but this isn’t private property. Lots of government associated property is treated largely like private property for the purposes of access and protest, but central government administration buildings are most definitely not treated in that manner. Since the city is treating the atrium like an indoor town square, that is how the courts would judge efforts to control who has access.
I'm not sure what your position is with regard to this particular event. Do you think the City was in the right to permit this pastor to hold an event in City Hall or not?
I'm not sure why you think the City should be "the last organization" to determine who gets to hold events in City-owned facilities. It makes no sense. They City has no choice about whether or not to exercise discretion. They are in that position whether they like it or not. At least they are a democratically-controlled and publicly-accountable organization. If they started to act with extreme bias, the public is in a position to intervene.
Governments, universities, media and tech companies, BIAs, etc. are all in a position to regulate the boundaries of civil discourse. As I've said many times already, they cannot arrest people for speech, but they also cannot avoid the responsibility of deciding who they give a platform to.
I believe the City should provide its atrium to highlight speech/expressions that are inclusive and promote a positive image of Calgary and the various communities that live here. By all means, allow religious expression within City Hall, but draw the line at people who have built their careers on being divisive and attacking other communities.
When it comes to free speech issues, I'm much less worried about organizations making decisions about who they platform than I am about legislating and enforcing certain "criminal" hate speech. Once you bring criminal law into the picture, then you're really playing with fire.