There is nothing in the current New Brunswick mandatory order that prohibits gatherings for the purpose of peaceful protest. Nothing.
On January 20th, the Fredericton Police Force put out a statement they were aware of the planned protest for Saturday, January 22, 2022, that they would be in attendance to monitor and closed stating "We respect the right to peaceful demonstration, and our goal is to ensure public safety and security for all".
Cardy throws a tantrum!
Upon learning of the Fredericton Police Force's statement, Dominic Cardy, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development for New Brunswick, threw a hissy fit on Twitter.
"Hi! As a Fredericton MLA can you let me know how any sort of gathering is allowed under the Emergency Order, which specifically prohibits them?", he demanded to know.
Let's see if we can take a crack at answering his question for him. As a Fredericton MLA, he should familiarize himself with what the Emergency Order actually says, not what he wants it to say. The emergency order DOES NOT specifically prohibit protesting. Period.
Section 7 does state that indoor and outdoor gatherings are prohibited, but it goes on to define a "gathering". Read the full document here.
A "gathering" implies common intent or purpose associated with dining, socializing, celebration, ceremony, entertainment or recreation." Notice they didn't include "protest" on the list, because they can't.
Cardy stamps his feet some more.
According to this CBC article Mr. Cardy goes on to tweet his phone number, asking the police if they have any other laws they don't like that they won't be enforcing. I would ask if there are any other laws Mr. Cardy doesn't like that he would prefer the Fredericton Police to break?
New Brunswickers have long thought that it is actually Mr. Cardy running the province instead of Premier Higgs, that he is running the Department of Health instead of Minister Dorothy Shephard, it would now appear he also is head on the Fredericton Police Force.
Per Mr. Cardy's demands, police did indeed make arrests and hand out tickets. Now, the people targeted were quite specific; one of the organizers, an individual who has a very public court challenge in New Brunswick regarding masks and an individual who has a challenge with the City of Fredericton regarding the mandates and his dismissal from his job ongoing. Coincidence? Maybe, time will tell as these go through the courts.
It's odd that with all the protests that have happened in the past year in New Brunswick, this is the first one with any issues, and the first incident actually started with a counter-protestor.
The good news is that the police department was clear that all members in attendance would be wearing bodycams, so the truth of what happened and how these incidences started shouldn't be hard to find.
One of Cardy's minions gets a ticket.
Yes, there was a gentleman in attendance who's sole purpose for being there was to counter-protest and disrupt speakers. Police watched him try to disrupt one of the speakers until another person in attendance stepped in. Police had no choice but to intervene at that point, which they did, the end result being the counter-protestor receiving his own ticket. I'm not going to reveal this person's identity, however, Cardy has done so on Twitter as he's angry this person received a ticket.
You can't demand everyone get tickets except those doing your biding....
I'm sure this would surprise Mr. Cardy and the counter-protestor; although the irony in what happened is hilarious, I hope he fights his ticket and wins. I may not agree with his reason for being there to protest, but I 100% support his right to do it. I don't believe any tickets, including his, should have been given out yesterday. I hope he takes it to court and I hope he wins. Everyone having equal rights, even those we don't agree with, is how a democratic society does and should work.
I may not agree with his reason for being there to protest, but I 100% support his right to do it. I hope he takes it to court and I hope he wins. Everyone having equal rights, even those we don't agree with, is how a democratic society does an should work.
A public relations nightmare, they blew up the trust.
The saddest part of what happened yesterday is that the trust was wiped out in a matter of minutes. Yes, there were those who didn't trust the statement issued by the Fredericton Police Force from the get go. There were also those who took a 'let's wait and see' what happens stance. Some even applauded that they would be there due to the ever increasing hatred and threat of violence being directed at the unvaccinated population on social media and in the comments sections of the CBC and Brunswick News websites, they felt safer. I have heard many people state that they spoke to officers and everyone was calm and just 'there'. No issues, dialogue was taking place, everyone respecting everyone else's right to be there.
So what happened between January 20th and January 22nd, other than having an elected official demand they make arrests at a peaceful, charter-protected protest against mandates, forced drug trials and segregation passes?
Who knows, but one thing is for certain, the Fredericton Police Force wiped out any trust they may have earned in the beginning of yesterday's protest or at previous protests. Gone. Some of the video circulating online is horrifying. Watching a firefighter get thrown to the ground and brutally arrested while on-lookers were crying in the background will be etched in the minds of the public for quite some time. I don't know how they will be able to repair that.
This is a PR nightmare for both the Fredericton Police Force and the Premier's office. Don't kid yourselves that the number of people in attendance yesterday is the sole number of people who oppose these mandates, they were just that, the ones who were in attendance. The public is seeing through the tyranny, those who did as asked and participated in the vaccine drug trials are angry they have now been lumped in with the dirty unvaccinated population, they know it won't be long before they are exiled from society too.
They see that a New Brunswick MLA, an appointed Minister at that, was able through the use of his Twitter account, cause what would have been just another peaceful protest, like all the other before it, become violent by demanding a police force wreak havoc, issue fines and make arrests, which they did. Premier Higgs, as well as all other elected MLA's regardless of party, is going to have to address this if he hopes to maintain any kind of public support. Their silence will be seen as condoning Mr. Cardy's weaponizing of his position.
The public sees other countries removing all mandates while ours is squeezing harder. They see a New Brunswick Minister of Education was allowed to abuse his position of authority as a weapon due to his personal hatred for unvaccinated New Brunswickers.
This isn't about health anymore, if it ever was.
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