Niagara Regional Police say “Further Charges Are Pending”
A News Release from the Niagara Regional Police Service
Posted May 6th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
A Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
At least three times since this past April 10th, when reportedly more than 1,000 people participated in an anti-Covid 19 lockdown in St. Catharines, there has been that rally, another in Niagara Falls and the latest one this past May 1st at a cenotaph in St. Catharines for honouring those who served Canada during times of war.
All of the gatherings involved people milling together, mostly without masks, and chanting or cheering speakers who referred to the pandemic as a hoax, the stay-at-home or lockdown orders as assaults on their constitutional rights, and to vaccines as some form of “bio-warfare.” Some adult participants took their children to the gatherings. In some videos, infants in strollers can be seen.
Following the first rally, police issued charges and summons to at least a handful of participants, including West Lincoln Mayor and Niagara Regional Councillor David Bylsma (who was later called on the carpet by other members of the Region’s council) and veteran Thorold City Councillor Jim Handley.
Before the May 1st anti-lockdown protest at the St. Catharines cenotaph, a senior representative of the Canadian Legion in Niagara urged people not to use the memorial for such a purpose, but dozens did anyway.
The Niagara Regional Police news release (immediately below) lists some charges that have been slapped against those attending the May 1st rally, with more charges to come.
Fines for breaking the Reopening Ontario Act around controlling public gatherings during a serious third wave of this pandemic range from $880 to as much as $100,000.
Now here is the NRP’s news release –
On Saturday May 1, 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.
Subsequent investigation has led to criminal charges.
30-year-old Cullen McDonald of Lincoln and 37-year-old Sandor Ligetfalavy of Niagara Falls are both facing the following charge:
– Common nuisance/endanger lives or safety of public, contrary to Section. 180(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada
McDonald and Ligetfalavy were both released on a Form 10 undertaking with a future court date of June 28, 2021.
In addition, as per the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, hosting or organizing a public event or other gathering 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 43 year old Alymer female:
1. 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)
2. 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
As the female was charged under the ROA, which is provincial legislation and not the Criminal Code of Canada, the Niagara Regional Police Service will not be disclosing their name.
Further charges are pending, in addition to those issued by Niagara Regional by-law.
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