KELOWNA (NEWS 1130) — The organizer of a rally that drew hundreds to the streets of Kelowna to oppose COVID-19 restrictions has been slapped with a $2,300 fine.
The “Okanagan Mega Rally” took place Saturday afternoon.
A poster for the event describes the purpose.
“We demand: freedom, truth, transparency, choice,” it reads. “We oppose: tyranny, mandates, lies, new normal.”
Mounties say officers were on scene to ensure public safety because the march took place on busy, downtown roads. Police were also there to “prevent any confrontations” between marchers and others.
“People in Canada have a democratic right to a lawful and peaceful protest and the RCMP must use discretion when balancing a citizen’s rights with the current potential health risks associated to large public gatherings. However, if the activities being engaged in are in violation of the provincial Public Health Order, those involved can face fines,” reads a release from Kelowna RCMP.
The hefty ticket was issued for violating the provincial health order on gatherings and events. The organizer’s name has not been released.
“We all have a key role to play during this health emergency, and there are many members of public respecting the prevention orders from the public health authorities that are not optional. Public safety is a priority for the RCMP and we encourage everyone to adhere to the orders being implemented to keep everyone safe and reduce the risks,” writes Supt. Kara Triance.
“While we certainly can, and will enforce the provisions available to us under the COVID Related Measures Act, we continue to encourage everyone to voluntarily comply with the provincial health orders, so enforcement is not required”