Barrie police charge organizer of anti-lockdown rally held at Meridian Place

First protest since stay-at-home order was issued by the province on Thursday

Barrie Police have charged the organizer of Saturday’s anti-lockdown demonstration at Meridian Place. In a Facebook post, police said the organizer was issued a provincial offences notice, which comes with an $800 fine.

There have been several anti-lockdown protests at Meridian Place the past few Saturdays, but this was the first one held since the province-wide stay-at-home order was imposed by the Ford government on Thursday.

Anti-lockdown protest – Meridian Place – Barrie

The vast majority of the crowd did not wear masks as they sat in the warm sunshine listening to music and speeches.

Anti-lockdown protest – Meridian Place – Barrie

Several police officers stood by the cenotaph and observed the demonstration.

Anti-lockdown protest – Meridian Place – Barrie

On Friday, police tweeted a message reminding the public that outdoor organized events are restricted, and asked people to abide by provincial orders and public health guidelines and to refrain from gathering.

“Outdoor organized public events are restricted to essential purposes and are limited to 5 people. Where necessary, the Barrie Police Service is committed to ensuring that provincial orders are followed, and community safety and public health measures are respected,” police said in the tweet.