1 facing $1,200 fine from PR Freedom Rally

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

RCMP say only one person was fined at a Peace River rally against coronavirus restrictions that featured a children’s bouncy castle.

Multiple people reported the Peace River event to the Town of Peace River, Alberta Health Services, and RCMP. About 50 people attended despite provincial guidelines prohibiting large gatherings outdoors.

Sgt. Dave Browne says via email that police are not able to name the person who was fined due to the Federal Privacy Act.

“I can advise that a violation ticket was served to a member of the organizing group for contravening an order of the medical officer of health, contrary to section 73(1) of the Public Health Act,” says Browne.

“The prescribed fine amount, as dictated by the legislation, is $1,200.”

The April 24 rally was part of a series of events organized by Benita Pedersen, who also owns All Fired Up DJ services. Pedersen had already racked up more than $8,000 in fines prior to her most recent series of events.

A rally was held in High Prairie April 23. Police did not attend.

The provincial government has been under fire for a perceived lack of enforcement of COVID restrictions after a two-day rodeo near Bowden went ahead despite complaints and opposition to the event by Bowden’s mayor.

Justice Minister Kaycee Madu says fines for defying public health orders will now be double, and AHS, Occupational Health and Safety, and local police will now be able to work together as part of a coordinated response to stop repeat offenders.

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