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Police issue tickets during COVID protest (update, 3 photos)

A protest against COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday afternoon saw city police on scene handing out tickets at Bellevue Park

Sault Ste. Marie Police Service officers issued fines to protesters gathered at a Bellevue Park Stand For Freedom rally Saturday.

Participants gathered at 12 p.m. at the northeast corner of the park, near the intersection of Queen Street East and Lake Street, to voice their displeasure with government and public health COVID-19 measures such as masks, social distancing and lockdowns.  

Unlike a similar rally held at the same location April 30, which drew over 100 people (as reported earlier by SooToday), Saturday’s event was smaller in size, with approximately 30 to 40 people gathered, many of them in groups spaced apart.

Though the rally was peaceful, a group of at least 10 protesters approached two Sault Police liaison officers at the scene at approximately 2 p.m., apparently willing to receive fines when they were informed by one of the event’s speakers that a fellow speaker had been issued a summons.

Three more Sault Police officers quickly arrived to issue fines.

It is not yet known how many fines were handed out.

Protesters gathered April 30 and Saturday despite warnings from Sault Police and Algoma Public Health (APH) not to do so.

Under Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), such gatherings are not currently permitted.

Attendees of such events can receive a minimum fine of $750.

Anyone found to be organizing such an event can receive a minimum fine of $10,000.

Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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