The owner of a St. Catharines, Ont., hair salon, which reopened during the January COVID-19 lockdown by operating as a film and production studio, is one of two people that has been charged in connection with an anti-lockdown protest in Niagara Falls on the weekend, according to police.
Investigators say the accused are each facing a single charge under the criminal code of causing a nuisance and endangering lives or safety of the public for the “organized” gathering.
“Uniform officers were in attendance to ensure public safety and keep the peace,” Niagara police said in a release on Monday.
“Since that time detectives have been continuing to investigate the gathering to determine appropriate charges.”
Investigators say Alicia Hirter, 43, of St. Catharines and Cullen McDonald, 30, of Lincoln are facing the charges.
Hirter, owner of Chrome Artistic Barber, pivoted her business in January to operate as a film or TV set in the hopes of keeping her business of 18 years alive.
The single mother said she lost about 50 per cent of her regular customers during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020.
With the prospect of losing more amid a second shutdown, Hirter decided to try out a client’s idea of having “candid,” on-camera conversations with her customers while giving them a trim.
Last week, Hirter told Global News that venture was eventually shut down in late February by Niagara public health under section 22 of the Health Promotion and Protection Act.
The salon owner’s St. Catharines workplace on Lake Street was also involved in another protest on April 10 attended by West Lincoln mayor Dave Bylsma.
Bylsma is expected to be the target of discussions among Niagara Regional councillors in the coming days after being issued a summons in connection with the event.View link »