PPC Leader Bernier goes ahead with Regina 'Freedom Rally'
Published Saturday, May 8, 2021 7:02PM CST
REGINA -- Despite criticism from the Saskatchewan government and the official opposition, People’s Party of Canada (PPC) Leader Maxime Bernier went ahead with a “Freedom Rally” in Regina on Saturday.
On Friday, Saskatchewan Minister of Health Paul Merriman told People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier he was not welcome in Regina.
“Anybody that's disobeying the public health order and holding rallies is not looking out for their community – it's very self serving,” Merriman said.
Bernier planned events in multiple communities throughout southern and central Saskatchewan over the weekend.
“I read the newspaper yesterday,” Bernier said. “But I have a message for [Merriman]: Canada is my home and I have the constitutional right to travel.”
The federal party leader was one of multiple speakers at the event which was held to protest the province’s public health measures.
Former Saskatoon Police Service officer Nathan Lynchuk also addressed the crowd at the event. Lynchuk resigned from the service after he was investigated internally for attending a “Children’s Freedom Rally” on April 24.
The Regina Police Service (RPS) said in a statement before the rally it had an “operational plan in place” and it would be “focused on gathering information for the investigation following the rally.”
RPS also said enforcement would “balance the overall goal of maintaining public safety while protecting the rights of individuals to express their opinions; this while working toward compliance with the Province’s Public Health Orders in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
There was an increased police presence around Victoria Park during the rally but not in the park itself. The RPS says it will now focus its attention on the investigation in order to enforce any tickets after the fact – just as they did for a rally on April 24.