The fine was imposed for acting in violation of provincial health ordinances aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, which includes banning public gatherings, police said in a statement. “Canadians have a democratic right to a legal and peaceful protest and the RCMP must exercise discretion when balancing the rights of citizens with the potential health risks associated with large public gatherings,” said the RCMP. .
The rally crossed several busy roads in downtown Kelowna. Officers were on hand to prevent clashes between protesters and nearby residents and motorists, the RCMP added.
CBC News reporters who attended the rally estimated that around 1,000 people were gathered. Protesters held up signs saying “open our churches” and “defend freedom”.
The RCMP said they were not releasing the name of the organizer at this time.
In a statement, Supt. Kara Triance said most people obey public health rules.
“While we certainly can and will enforce the provisions we have under the COVID Measures Act, we continue to encourage everyone to voluntarily comply with provincial health orders, so that enforcement of the law is not necessary, ”she said.