Multiple charges have been laid following an anti-mask rally in Red Deer last weekend. (Photo by The Canadian Press)

Multiple charges have been laid following an anti-mask rally in Red Deer last weekend. (Photo by The Canadian Press)

Multiple charges laid following anti-mask rally in Red Deer last weekend

An anti-mask rally in Red Deer has led to a number of charges.

Red Deer RCMP partnered with the Public Health Inspectors Office for a rally on Dec. 5.

As a result of non-compliance, two charges were laid at the time, police said in a statement. Five additional violation notices are in the process of being laid for breaching public health orders during the rally.

This rally was identified as a potential super-spreader event by Alberta Health Services.

“Public safety is the Red Deer RCMP’s top priority, and we strive to be responsive to the needs of our community through this healthcare crisis,” Insp. Holly Glassford said.

“Since March, we have responded to public health order calls with an educational approach to encourage voluntary compliance. Though we will continue this practice, if behaviours or actions are intentionally and actively non-compliant, we will respond with enforcement.”

“It is at our RCMP officers discretion to use their judgment and expertise in their daily operations, and are expected to demonstrate care and sensitivity when working with the public.”

Bart Rowland, municipal policing services manager, said the community peace officers have a duty to ensure that public health orders are being upheld.

“While enforcement is an option, we recognize this is a hard time for people and so we will work to educate and encourage as much as possible,” said Rowland.

Aside from the rally, only one violation notice has been issued since March.

Police also say Red Deer RCMP and Community Peace Officers are not proactively stopping vehicles or checking license plates parked outside of homes to check for PHA violations.

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