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City of Barrie files injunction against organizer of anti-lockdown protests

The demonstrations, which have taken place around Barrie over the last number of weeks, are in contravention of Ontario's current stay-at-home order, which has been enforced to curb the spread of COVID-19. The Canadian Press file

The City of Barrie has filed an injunction to restrain the organizer of the ongoing anti-lockdown protests from co-ordinating, hosting and participating in any more gatherings on city property.

The demonstrations, which have taken place around Barrie over the last number of weeks, are in contravention of Ontario’s current stay-at-home order, which has been enforced to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Read more: COVID-19 — Barrie Police warn of fines ahead of weekend protest in Sadlon Arena parking lot

“These individuals continue to blatantly disregard the law and public health orders and their actions threaten our efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19,” Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said in a statement.

“We will continue to look at all options to hold the organizers accountable for their actions.”

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City officials say they don’t condone the illegal gatherings and that the organizers haven’t obtained the necessary city permits to be able to use city property.

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“Regardless, the city would not be issuing them given the health orders/regulations,” officials said.

At the end of April, Lehman issued an order to fence off Meridian Place due to the ongoing anti-lockdown demonstrations that were happening there. However, this past weekend, a protest was held at the city’s Sadlon Arena.

Read more: 2 charged following anti-mask, anti-lockdown protest in Collingwood, Ont.

Over the last number of weeks, Barrie Police have issued more than 20 tickets under the Reopening Ontario Act, with fines totalling more than $18,000. There have also been seven summons issued with court dates pending.

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City officials say municipal enforcement staff don’t attend the protests because they are “not resourced, equipped or trained to handle this type of large gathering,” although enforcement staff are reviewing information that’s been provided by witnesses to lay further charges under the city’s bylaws.

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