Barrie police to step up enforcement at anti-lockdown rally
BARRIE, ONT. -- Barrie police will attend a demonstration planned for Saturday at Meridian Place and suggest those attending "reconsider their plans."
The anti-lockdown rallies have drawn hundreds downtown who are opposed to the current provincial COVID-19 restrictions.
Police say the protests to date "have been peaceful," but large gatherings are not permitted under the stay-at-home order as these types of crowds could serve as a source of transmission for the virus.
Barrie police warn participants could face fines.
"We know that most of our community are doing their best to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to keep people healthy and to end the restrictions as quick as possible. We thank those that are following the rules and respecting public health recommendations," says Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood.
People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier is planning to be a guest speaker at this Saturday's rally in Barrie.
Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said on Thursday, "This is literally the worst possible time to be instigating a large gathering in the midst of a stay-at-home order."
The province reported a staggering 4,812 new COVID-19 infections Friday, as Simcoe Muskoka logged another triple-digit day.