North Bay police issue warning over planned weekend anti-lockdown protest
The North Bay Police Service said Friday they will "maintain a limited presence" at a rally Saturday afternoon along the Waterfront in North Bay. (File)
SUDBURY -- The North Bay Police Service said Friday they will "maintain a limited presence" at a rally Saturday afternoon along the Waterfront in North Bay.
Police also revealed three people have been charged for breaking the rules at an earlier protest, dubbed a 'Freedom Rally.' The trio – a 46-year-old woman, and two men ages 36 and 64, were charged under the Reopening Ontario Act for failing to comply with a continuing order.
“The North Bay Police Service respects the right of every Canadian to protest,” North Bay Police Chief Scott Tod said in the release. “However, there is currently a declaration of emergency and provincial stay-at-home order in effect. If we observe individuals deliberately violating the Reopening Ontario Act and putting the safety of others at risk, we will be required to do our job and enforce the law. That includes the possibility to laying charges.”
Police want to remind residents that the stay-at-home order means people should only leave home for necessities. Under the provincial order, indoor gatherings are not allowed and outdoor gatherings are limited to five people.
"In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial government has put rules in place that require you to identify yourself to law enforcement if police believe you are not following the emergency rules," police said.
When asked to identify themselves, police said residents must provide their correct name, date of birth and address.
"If you refuse to identify yourself to a police officer, you can be charged with obstructing police," the release said.
"The North Bay Police Service encourages everyone to follow COVID-19 public health guidelines, including practising physical distancing and wearing a mask."
More information about COVID-19 and how you can help stop the spread is available from Ontario’s Ministry of Health at www.Ontario.ca/COVID19.