Hundreds gather in Winnipeg for anti-COVID-19 restrictions rally Sunday

Click to play video: 'Anti-maskers protest at The Forks'
Anti-maskers protest at The Forks
About 500 people gathered at The Forks Sunday to protest mask laws in Manitoba – Apr 26, 2021

Update, April 26, 12:10 p.m.:

Global News reached out to both the Winnipeg Police Service and Manitoba Justice again Monday morning, and this is what they had to say:

“WPS was aware of the rally at the Forks and was monitoring the situation in support of Public Health. Questions concerning the number of tickets issued would have to be directed to the Province.” – Winnipeg Police spokesperson

“Enforcement officials investigate all public health order violations they are made aware of, including large gatherings and rallies. In addition, people are required to self-isolate for 14 days if they enter Manitoba following domestic or international travel. Any enforcement updates are provided following investigation and data is updated on Tuesdays. Updated enforcement statistics are posted online weekly.” – Manitoba Justice spokesperson

Original story:

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Hundreds of Manitobans gathered around The Forks on Sunday, rallying against COVID-19 restrictions.

Most protesters could be seen without masks and not social distancing while dozens of signs were posted in the ground surrounding a podium for speakers.

One speaker, Chris “Sky” Saccoccia, was in Saskatchewan yesterday for a similar rally and is currently travelling from B.C. to Ontario on what he calls a “freedom convoy,” according to his social media.

Hundreds of protesters flouted public health orders Sunday in protest of COVID-19 restrictions. (photo: GLOBAL NEWS).

Current public health orders require anyone entering Manitoba to quarantine for 14 days and strongly advises travelers to get a COVID-19 test on the first and tenth day of their quarantine.

Clare MacKay, vice president of strategic initiatives and executive director of The Forks Foundation, told Global News on Friday the group was not granted access to the space.

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“We have not been asked for, nor would we be in a position to grant, permission for this group to be on site,” MacKay said.

The Forks closed its doors Sunday afternoon due to safety concerns surrounding the rally.

The Winnipeg Police Service declined to comment before the rally about enforcement and Manitoba Justice officials were seen taking photos at the rally.

A provincial spokesperson told Global News in a statement that Manitobans are urged to avoid crowded places and stay home as much as possible while case numbers continue to rise.

“Public health orders are in place to prevent large gatherings and enforcement action may take place if people gather in large groups,” the statement said.

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Global News has asked for comment about what kind of enforcement was done and whether any tickets were handed out.

The spokesperson for the province also said any enforcement updates are provided following investigations.

Enforcement data is updated on Tuesdays.

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