RCMP were in attendance at a rally downtown Kelowna Dec. 12 which protested COVID-19 restrictions. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

RCMP were in attendance at a rally downtown Kelowna Dec. 12 which protested COVID-19 restrictions. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

COVID-19: Kelowna Mounties issue ticket to organizer of anti-restriction rally

RCMP encourage everyone to comply with provincial health orders ‘so enforcement not needed’

The Kelowna RCMP has issued a ticket to an organizer of a Saturday afternoon (Dec. 12) march in downtown Kelowna, which protested COVID-19 restrictions.

The protest attracted hundreds who paraded down Water Street and across Highway 97, blocking traffic.

READ MORE: Large anti-restriction protest blocks downtown Kelowna traffic

RCMP were in attendance and have confirmed a ticket was issued for violating the provincial public health order. The Capital News previously reported that an officer on scene said a $2,300 fine was on the table for those violating B.C. public health restrictions on social gatherings.

“People in Canada have a democratic right to 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,” stated RCMP Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy Saturday night.

“However, we would like to remind the public that if they are engaging in activities contrary to the provincial Public Health Order, they could be issued a ticket.”

RCMP further explained that officers were in attendance Saturday to ensure the safety of protesters and the rest of the public.

“This was a march that crossed several busy downtown core roadways and our police officers were on hand to maintain the peace…”

Police were also in attendance to prevent confrontations, noted Noseworthy.

She said everyone has a key role to play during the health emergency, and that “there are many” people respecting prevention orders put in place by health authorities.

“We encourage everyone to adhere to the order being implemented to keep everyone safe, and reduce the risks,” said Noseworthy.

“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.”

READ MORE: Kelowna Superstore employee tests positive for COVID-19

READ MORE: Exposures of COVID-19 reported at three Central Okanagan schools

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
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