By: Konrad Holden
Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC), was arrested in early June after he spoke at a small anti-lockdown rally. This came just days after some of Canada’s highest political leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, appeared at a vigil with thousands of attendees. COVID restrictions were temporarily eased to allow the vigil to occur.
With multiple pastors arrested in Canada since COVID began, it is no surprise that politicians are being arrested as well. In early June, Maxime Bernier, who has been a vocal opponent of lockdowns, was arrested for speaking at an anti-lockdown rally with less than a dozen people.
Bernier, who is the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, had spoken at another rally that day and received citations for his choice to speak at the event. The province of Manitoba had also preemptively sent Bernier a letter stating that his planned rallies would be illegal and that he could be subject to arrest.
Meanwhile, in another province just days before he was arrested, a vigil was held to mourn the loss of five individuals in a racially motivated attack. Thousands of people attended this vigil and the government of Ontario eased COVID restriction specifically to allow this vigil to proceed. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and multiple other Canadian politicians attended the vigil without arrest.
Bernier was released on bail and required to agree to not break any more laws in Manitoba province. His court date is set for July 27.
“This isn’t about COVID anymore. It’s political repression. This is the kind of stuff countries like China and Russia do.” - Martin Masse, PPC Spokesperson
“I knew I risked being arrested in Manitoba after the threatening letter I got from the province’s public health official and declarations from local despot Brian Pallister. But it’s still always a shock when it happens, when the police treat you like a criminal and handcuff you because you dared talking to a dozen people outdoors in a small village half an hour before.” - Maxime Bernier