Saskatchewan Court rules government 10-person outdoor protest limit justifiable
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is disappointed with the decision of the Court of King’s Bench of Saskatchewan, which today ruled that a 10-person limit on outdoor protests violated the freedom of expression but was justified.
From December 17, 2020 to May 30, 2021, the Saskatchewan Government prohibited outdoor protests with more than 10 people, while allowing numerous public indoor gatherings to have at least three times as many people.
Justice Centre lawyers Marty Moore and Andre Memauri represent two anti-lockdown protesters who have been ticketed for attending peaceful outdoor protests that exceeded Saskatchewan’s 10-person outdoor gathering limit in place during Covid. On December 19, 2020 these individuals participated in a peaceful protest against the Government’s lockdown measures, at the Vimy Memorial in Kiwanis Park in Saskatoon.
Jasmin Grandel, a young mother, attended to share her concerns with the lack of transparency concerning the information on which Government requirements and restrictions are based, including the requirement that her son must wear a mask in kindergarten.
Darrell Mills, who is certified in Mask Fit Testing and trained in supplied air breathing systems, attended to voice his concerns about improper mask usage and the significant burdens placed on persons with physical or psychological conditions, which prevent them from wearing masks.
For peacefully protesting and publicly expressing their opinions, Ms. Grandel and Mr. Mills were each issued $2,800 fines.
Ms. Grandel and Mr. Mills are two of dozens of individuals who have received tickets for peacefully protesting government restrictions. There is no evidence that police issued tickets to those protesting other issues.
For example, the Regina Police issued tickets to Ms. Grandel for numerous protests she attended in Regina, including protests with as few as 20 people in attendance. In contrast, on June 5, 2020, Regina Police Chief Evan Bray himself attended a large Black Lives Matter rally with hundreds of people and many other police officers, when the Government’s 10-person limit for outdoor gatherings was also in effect.
“We are reviewing the decision of the Court and will be seeking instructions from our clients regarding an appeal to the higher Court,” states Marty Moore, co-counsel for Ms. Grandel and Mr. Mills.