Renewed plea from Barrie Police Chief: don’t attend Saturday’s anti-lockdown protest

Police have 30 days following an offense to lay charges, tickets may not be handed out at the event

Barrie’s Police Chief is calling on anyone hoping to participate in an anticipated protest this Saturday to reconsider.

“This event is unlawful and irresponsible, and is definitely not supported by the Barrie Police Service, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the City of Barrie,” said Chief Kimberly Greenwood via a video posted to social media Friday afternoon. “Any individual 16 years and older may receive a Provincial Offences Ticket, which includes a fine or a future court date.”

“Barrie Police Service will be present at the event,” she added. “Our main focus is ensuring that it is a peaceful demonstration. And we will do this through crowd control and management. We will ensure that we reduce harm and prevent crime such as uttering threats, assault, and mischief.”

Greenwood also had a message for those who haven’t attended these gatherings. “Thank you to all in our communities who have been responsible, who have been following the stay-at-home order. It is appreciated.”

The most recent demonstration, held Saturday, May 1, saw a crowd first gather at a fenced-off Meridian Place before marching to Centennial Park to protest the government’s COVID-19 measures. The service made one arrest and has thus far laid four charges in connection to the gathering. Police spokesperson Peter Leon points out there are more pending.