Advocacy group challenges tickets handed out during Saskatoon lockdown protest

SASKATOON — A legal advocacy group says it has filed a constitutional challenge on behalf of two lockdown protesters who were ticketed in Saskatoon late last year.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms says the two were part of a peaceful rally on Dec. 19 against the Saskatchewan government's COVID-19 public-health restrictions.

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The Justice Centre says they were each fined $2,800 for attending an outdoor gathering that exceeded a 10-person limit.

A statement from the Justice Centre says banning outdoor protests of more than 10 people violates charter rights to freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression.

It says one of the people ticketed, a young mother, wanted to know what data the government was using to make health orders, including one that required her son to wear a mask in kindergarten.

The Justice Centre says the other protester fined was voicing concerns about improper mask usage and the burden placed on people who can't wear face coverings.

"Prohibiting outdoor protests in excess of 10 persons strikes at the heart of activities central to the functioning of a free and democratic society, with little if any corresponding public health benefit," Marty Moore, a Justice Centre lawyer, said in the statement Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2021.

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