COVID-19: Peterborough Police See Familiar Faces in Weekly Anti-Lockdown Protest

Peterborough police say they continue to see familiar faces at weekly anti-lockdown protests in Confederation Square.

The most recent protest on Saturday May 1, according to police estimates, drew 150 to 200 individuals – a fall from 600 a week earlier including Ontario’s independent MPP Randy Hillary and the People’s Party’s federal leader Maxim Bernier.

At an April 24 rally, Peterborough Police Service chief Scott Gilbert personally issued tickets to both politicians for violations of the Roping Ontario Act. To date, the police have given tickets to 10 under the ROA and five under the Provincial Crime Act, stemming from the events of that day.

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COVID-19: 7 more charges in Peterborough protests featuring Hillary, Bernier

Observation, during a great media briefing conducted by Peterborough Public Health on Tuesday. John Lyon said no charges had yet been taken from the recent protests.

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“Making sure they were safe is our priority,” Lyon said. “At the same time, we are still pursuing the allegations of individuals who have been identified.”

Anti-lockdown protests have been held weekly. Since January, 21 people have been identified and charged in protests, often involving a march down George St. to the city’s downtown. There are 25 charges under the ROA, three under the City of Peterborough Bylaw and four under the Highway Traffic Act.

“Officers are spending a fair amount of time identifying individuals and then charging them,” he said. “I can tell you that as long as these protests continue, the order to stay in the house will continue.”

Lyons says authorities are seeing many familiar faces in the protests.

“We’re seeing people who are coming week by week,” Lyons said. He said, “I call those who call the organizers and they have made it clear to us that they will participate every week.”

“We’re charging them now – unfortunately, because of their own actions – every week they’ve been there.”

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