West Lincoln Mayor and Niagara Regional Councillor David Bylsma Reportedly Among Those Facing Charges
More than 10 others have reportedly received summons, with more likely to come, according to Niagara Regional Police
I want to remind residents of the seriousness of the third wave of COVID-19 and the “potential penalties that could be levied should you be found to have broken provincial directives. …I would encourage residents who may be planning to attend future demonstrations to seriously reconsider.” – Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley
West Lincoln Mayor David Bylsma reportedly among those charged for role in April 10th anti-lockdown rally in St. Catharines/Niagara..
Breaking News Posted by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large
April 15th, 2021
Niagara At Large received the following statement from Niagara Regional Chair late this Thursday, April 15th about the controversial anti-lockdown rally that took place in St. Catharines this past Saturday, April 10th –
A Statement from Regional Chair Bradley regarding the recent issuance of provincial summons –
“Earlier today (this April 15th, 2021), a number of Niagara Region residents were issued Part III summonses under both the Reopening Ontario Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act in relation to the anti-lockdown demonstrations that took place April 10, 2021.
Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley
“If found guilty, individuals could face fines of up to $100,000. The act also has provisions for imprisonment for a period not exceeding year.
“These residents are entitled to due process on this matter. It is important to note that all of these individuals are presumed innocent until proven in court.
That said, I want to remind residents of the seriousness of the third wave of COVID-19 and the “potential penalties that could be levied should you be found to have broken provincial directives. The provincial stay-at-home orders are designed to help protect the health and safety of residents, and willfully breaking these rules could result in serious fines and even jail time.
“As Regional Chair, I fully respect an individual’s Charter right to peacefully assemble and express themselves. However, all residents are strongly reminded that such gatherings cannot breach any applicable statues or municipal by-laws.
“I would encourage residents who may be planning to attend future demonstrations to seriously reconsider. Even if these residents struggle to accept the legitimate health and safety risks associated with large gatherings, I suggest they consider the potential personal repercussions of significant fines and jail time.
“In regards to Councillor Bylsma, I want to assure the public that I have heard their concerns and I am taking this issue seriously. To that end, we will be discussing this matter as council in the coming days.”
Jim Bradley, Niagara Regional Chair
Now here are excerpts from a Niagara Regional Police News Release posted late this April 15th –
Police on fines – Charges issued following St. Catharines gathering
On Saturday April 10, 2021, a gathering was organized and held in the City of St. Catharines in response to recently implemented government restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
1 District (St. Catharines/Thorold) uniform officers were in attendance to ensure public safety and keep the peace. Since that time detectives have been continuing to investigate the gathering to determine appropriate charges.
In the duration of a gathering, officers use discretion to best manage the situation to not cause it to escalate and to preserve the peace. The leading principle is keeping the peace and public safety and in doing so, at times, must utilize discretion when it comes to immediate enforcement.
As per the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, hosting or organizing a public event or other gather where the number of people in attendance exceeds the number permitted may lead to higher penalties.
The investigation by detectives focused on such individuals, resulting in the following charges against a 50-year-old West Lincoln male and a 47-year-old St. Catharines male under the ROA:
Part III summons Fail to comply with a continued 7.0.2 Order contrary to the Ontario Re-Opening Act 2020, section 10(1) 82/20 Ontario Regulation, schedule 4 section 1(c)
Part III summons for Fail to Comply with an Order made during a declared emergency section 7.0.11(1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act
Further charges are pending, in addition to those issued by Niagara Regional by-law to attendees of the event. …”
A Footnote from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –
This story and information about those who have received summons will be reported on NAL in the hours and days ahead.
For related stories Niagara At Large has posted on this controversial rally, click on the following –
St. Catharine Mayor Calls Anti-COVID Lockdown Protest Irresponsible, Dangerous
Authorities Should Throw Book at Bylsma and Other Ringleaders of Maskless, Anti-Lockdown Rally
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