Manitoba’s top doctor says he’s received threats on a daily basis during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some of the threats have prompted law enforcement to get involved.
This comes after a group supporting multiple churches across the country in court challenges against COVID-19 public health orders admitted to hiring a private investigator to follow a Manitoba judge to see if he was following the province’s public health orders.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms also admitted to have provincial officials in Manitoba and across the country followed for the same reasons, although the centre didn’t disclose which officials were targeted.
In a statement released late Monday afternoon, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen said they wouldn’t comment on current investigations, but added that Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has also experienced similar situations.
During a news conference Monday, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin told reporters he wasn’t aware of being followed by a private investigator, but added he has been dealing with numerous threats.
“I’ve certainly had a number of threats against me and my family,” Roussin told reporters, adding that he’s reported the incidents to police and security.
“There’s been some suspicious activity that’s been reported to me around my house.
“To get a call from law enforcement when at the time I wasn’t at home but my family was. So yeah, it’s a little bit concerning that way.”
Roussin says the threats occur daily or at minimum weekly, and have become more severe during the prolonged third wave.
“(The pandemic) has had a huge toll on Manitobans, but I don’t think any of us can legitimately accept that threats against someone or their family is acceptable,” Roussin said.
“No matter how much you disagree with some of the protections we’ve put in place.”
A Winnipeg Police spokesperson says they are aware of the situation and are investigating, but declined to comment any further.
— with files from Brittany Greenslade and The Canadian Press.