RCMP say they have fined an organizer of the large anti-COVID_19 restriction protest that marched through the downtown streets of Kelowna on Saturday.
“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,” wrote Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy in an email.
“At this time, I can advise that a ticket was issued to one of the organizers of this gathering for violating the provincial public health order.”
The organizer self-identified themselves to police, which led to a ticket being issued for the fine of $2,300.
Kelowna RCMP acknowledged that people in Canada have the democratic right to peaceful protest.
However, police say it is up to their discretion to balance a citizen’s rights with the current potential health risks associated with large public gatherings.
“We all have a key role to play during this health emergency, and there are many members of the public respecting the prevention orders from the public health authorities that are not optional,” Noseworthy said.
“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.”
Protesters by the hundreds gathered in Kelowna’s downtown core for an anti-COVID-19-restriction rally on Saturday.
Protests against provincial health orders have been happening regularly in Kelowna, but this rally was by far the largest to date.
Global News was on scene, with one male protester saying “the fake news is here,” then later adding “you’re not welcome here,” though the rally was being held on public land.