Sask. trial underway for 46 individuals, together with Maxime Bernier, charged with breaching COVID public well being order

The trial for 46 individuals accused of gathering illegally for a rally in Saskatoon in the course of the COVID disaster is now underway.

Proceedings started Monday at TCU Place Conference Centre, fairly than the provincial courthouse, due to the variety of accused. The trial is scheduled to run two weeks.

The 46 individuals had been every given $2,800 tickets after the Might 9, 2021, occasion at Kinsmen Park. It is alleged that they violated the Public Well being Act order limiting what number of may collect and the way they wanted to be spaced.

One of many accused — Individuals’s Celebration of Canada Chief Maxime Bernier — will not be disputing the allegation.

“Yeah, I used to be there and I used to be proud to be there,” he advised reporters on a break Monday. “I am happy with these individuals.”

Maxime Bernier speaks with reporters on a break within the trial. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

Bernier stated the 150 to 200 individuals who met on the park that day had been partaking in a peaceable political protest. The legal professionals for the accused are arguing that their constitutional proper to free meeting trumps the general public well being order.

Provincial courtroom Decide Doug Agnew is presiding. The proof and testimony over the approaching days shall be heard in a voir dire, or trial inside a trial, with Agnew in the end deciding what, if any, of the fabric shall be utilized as proof within the trial.

The Crown intends to name 11 witnesses.

Metropolis police Sgt. Dave Larocque testified Monday about how he went to the rally in plain garments and an unmarked police cruiser. He took quite a few photographs of contributors, laying the groundwork for the fees.

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