Alberta "anti-lockdown" rodeo rally organizers charged

May 12 2021, 1:27 pm

Organizers of an “Anti-Lockdown Rodeo Rally” event in Bowden, Alberta, have been served a summons to appear in court.

The rodeo rally was held between April 30 and May 2 and has been found in violation of Alberta’s current public health orders.

According to RCMP Alberta, Ty Northcott and Gail Northcott, both of Bowden, have been served a summons to appear in court concerning the event. This follows an investigation by Olds RCMP and Alberta Health Services’ Inspectors.

The summons was served on May 10, says RCMP Alberta, for “contravention of Section 73(1) of the Public Health Act of Alberta.”

Section 73(1) makes violating the Public Health Act, a public health order, or any current regulations an offence. This allows a judge to impose monetary penalties and order an individual to comply with public health orders and regulations.

A large number of people gathered at the rodeo during the first weekend of May. The event took place in a lot off of Highway 2A, just south of Bowden. The “No More Lockdowns Rodeo Rally” had a concession, guest speakers, and “Cowboy Church” in addition to the rodeo events.

Northcott Rodeo first announced the event on Facebook at the end of March, saying, “Well, somebody has to do it!”

Alberta Health Services (AHS) told Daily Hive in an email that the rodeo took place in breach of the province’s current public health orders. Before the event, AHS Legal indicated to the rodeo rally organizers that the event would be illegal if it were to proceed.

AHS inspectors provided both verbal and written information to the organizers of the Alberta rodeo rally, notifying them that current CMOH Orders prohibit businesses or entities from offering or providing exhibitions, sporting events, or sporting and performance competitions at this time.

“It is disappointing that the organizers ignored this information and went ahead with their event, knowing it was a clear breach of the current public health restrictions,” said AHS.

Premier Jason Kenney said in a tweet that not only are gatherings like this a threat to public health they are, “a slap in the face to everybody who is observing the rules to keep themselves and their fellow Albertans safe.”

The premier noted that rodeo is a celebration of Alberta’s heritage, and community spirit, including looking out for others, is a big part of that. He said that organizers and attendees of this event were doing the opposite of that.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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