Penticton RCMP will be attending Friday’s protest in Gyro Park to enforce provincial health orders that prohibit all organized gatherings of any size.
Mounties are warning of potential fines for those who choose to attend the rally.
A group of concerned residents is organizing the protest in opposition of city council’s decision to not extend the Victory Church shelter for a further year. Currently, the shelter is full and has 42 beds.
The protest is expected to take place Friday, March 5 at 2 p.m.
“Please join us in taking a stand against the decision city council has made to not extend this vital service in our community,” reads a post in a Facebook group. The organizers ask people attending to wear masks and be socially distanced.
The RCMP say they will enforce the public health orders in effect related to the Provincial Protective Measures Order. This may result in fines being issued against organizers and attendees of “non-compliant gatherings,” said Penticton RCMP Const. James Grandy.
“The Penticton RCMP supports everyone’s right to peacefully and lawfully protest. We take an impartial stance on the motivations for this event. However, we’re reminding the organizers, and potential attendees, of the current public health orders in effect,” said Grandy.
“These orders, which are aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, explicitly prohibit organized gatherings of any scale, such as the one being promoted this weekend. Our officers have a duty to enforce these laws.”
Penticton RCMP ask that people report similar events being organized, or happen to witness other parties or large gatherings.
In late November 2020, more than 40 people gathered to protest the provincial restrictions that prohibit gathering. The group were unmasked and not socially distanced. Police did not attend.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Provincial Health Orders stipulate that protests are allowed and don’t contrevene gathering bans so long as organizers and participants are following safety guidelines.
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