“We will be taking a higher level of enforcement than we did in the previous protests” Barrie Police urging anti-mask protesters to stay home

Statement comes in anticipation of Saturday afternoon rally at Meridian Place

The Chief of the Barrie Police Service is urging folks to stay home and avoid an anticipated protest in the city’s downtown core.

“I am asking people from our community to comply with the regulations. Do not participate in demonstrations that are scheduled,” said Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood during Thursday morning’s Barrie Police Services Board meeting. “I recognize they have been peaceful up to this point. But we will be taking a graduated approach.”

“We will be taking a higher level of enforcement than we did in the previous protests,” she added.

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Greenwood’s vow of stepped-up enforcement comes in anticipation of an anti-mask and anti-lockdown protest at Meridian Place this Saturday. Were it to go ahead, it would be the fifth Saturday protest in a row. Last week’s protest saw the organizer fined $880 under the Reopening Ontario Act.

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Chief Greenwood indicated it isn’t just a question of enforcing the law but helping the community as a whole. “It is a very, very challenging time for all of us in this community. But we all have a responsibility to reduce the numbers of COVID and make our community safe,” she said. “We want to ensure that our local hospital is able to respond to the COVID medical issues that are there.”