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Nelson Police issue tickets following Saturday's Freedom Rally

There was another Freedom Rally against COVID-19 provincial health order restrictions Saturday afternoon outside Nelson City Hall. — The Nelson Daily photos

Nelson Police identified, and issued violation tickets, to three people following a Saturday afternoon Freedom rally against COVID-19 provincial public health orders outside City Hall.

In a media release, Nelson Police said a 58-year-old female from Winlaw, a 42-year-old man from Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast and a 41-year-old man from Vancouver, were all issued $2,300 Violation Tickets for their participation in the rally that attracted approximately 150 participants.

“Throughout the rally, police identified several key organizers involved in the event,” Nelson Police said. “At the conclusion of the rally, police issued three $2,300.00 Violation Tickets.”

The rally started at approximately noon Saturday.

Prior to people gathering, organizers set up banners in front of the Nelson Courthouse protesting against the mask policy and the right to work.

Officers observed organizers speaking against COVID-19 related guidelines, measures and enacted laws.

“Police observed some participants standing on the sidewalk in the 300 block of Ward Street where they carried signs displayed for passing vehicles and pedestrians,” Nelson Police said.

“In addition, approximately 75-80 participants conducted a march on Baker Street and Vernon Street as part of the rally.”

People against COVID-19 Related Measures Act gather Saturday afternoon outside Nelson City Hall during a Freedom rally.

Police said although the rally was observed to be peaceful, participants were in contravention of COVID-19 Related Measures Act.

“As a result of the current Provincial Health Order, individuals who choose to organize or attend this type of gathering are in contravention of the COVID-19 Measures Act and can face fines between $230 and $2,300,” Nelson Police said.

Nelson Police said the public is being asked to ensure compliance of the British Columbia Public Health Order, specifically the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, and individuals who fail to comply could face fines.

Last week, the BC provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, amended the provincial health order effective March 29, 2021 at midnight due to the rising case levels of COVID-19 variants.

Those COVID-19 numbers continue to spike in the province as Dr. Henry Saturday reported more than 2,000 new cases since Thursday.

Between April 1-2, there were 1,018 new COVID-19 cases in the province and 1,072 between April 2-3.

A breakdown of the province for the two-day report shows 709 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,052 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 147 in the Island Health region, 149 in the Interior Health region, 33 in the Northern Health region.

This is the second time Nelson Police has issued tickets to organizers, who have staged some sort of protests almost weekly in Nelson against COVID-19 public health orders.

In February, a 58-year-old woman from Winlaw was issued a $2,300 Violation Ticket following a Kootenay Freedom Peaceful Assembly rally outside Nelson City Hall.

People carried signs and lined the west side of the 300 Block of Ward Street during the Freedom Rally against COVID-19 Related Measures Act.