Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Maxime Bernier guilty of violating a health order in Saskatoon

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The leader of the People's Party of Canada , Maxime Bernier

Radio-Canada

People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has been found guilty, along with 36 others, of violating Saskatchewan public health rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. They were accused of participating in an unlawful assembly at the Vimy Memorial in Saskatoon on May 9, 2021.

In his decision rendered earlier this month (New window), Provincial Court Judge Doug Agnew indicates that at the time, a public health order dated May 6, 2021, prohibited outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order was instituted to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and was subsequently repealed.

There is no doubt that this was a gathering and that there were more than 10 people. The Crown alleges that the defendants in this case were all present at this gathering in violation of the public health order, the judge wrote.

Those found guilty were identified using names and photos provided by SGI [the Saskatchewan Insurance Corporation] or by police on scene, Doug Agnew said. Seven people out of the 44 accused were found not guilty.

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Maxime Bernier and his co-defendants were tried in September 2022 and June 2023. According to him, the 150 to 200 people who gathered in the park that day were participating in a peaceful political demonstration.

Yes, I was there [at the rally], and I was proud to be there. I'm proud of these people, he said.

Lawyers for the defendants argued that their constitutional right to freedom of assembly ;outweighed the public health order.

This did not convince the judge, says Doug Agnew

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">With information from Dan Zakreski

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