A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Northcott Rodeo Inc. Facebook page)

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Northcott Rodeo Inc. Facebook page)

NDP calls on province to put a stop to prohibited rallies

AHS still investigating rodeo

Alberta Health Services is still investigating the blatant disregard of COVID-19 restrictions over the weekend at the No More Lockdowns Rodeo Rally near Bowden.

A more than two hour long video of the rodeo’s roping and riding events can be found at Northcott Rodeo Inc. on Facebook.

“AHS continues to work with the RCMP and local bylaw officials in response to the No More Lockdown Rodeo held near Bowden. At this time AHS is considering our legal options and next steps,” said a statement from Alberta Health Services.

Related:

Central Alberta rodeo-rally defying restrictions ‘a slap in the face,’ says premier

Alberta’s NDP said the anti-mask rodeo, that attracted about 2,000 people, has drawn widespread condemnation, but the organizers have faced no consequences.

And the NDP say another weekend protest is planned for outside the Whistle Stop Cafe, in Mirror, which continued to serve patrons outdoors on Wednesday after AHS padlocked the building. Recurring marches and rallies are also planned for every Sunday at Calgary’s Central Memorial Park, and a “super-rally” is planned for Princess Island Park on May 15.

“The Kenney government has failed to uphold the rule of law during a deadly public health crisis,” said Irfan Sabir, NDP justice critic.

“By allowing these recent events to proceed, he has only encouraged more of this reckless and unacceptable behaviour. Jason Kenney must act to stop these upcoming events, and prove that his words were not simply another hollow promise.”

Related:

UPDATED: AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Earlier this week, the Town of Bowden and Bowden & District Agricultural Society issued a statement in regards to “false information that has been put forward by many sources pertaining to the No More Lockdowns rodeo.”

“The event was held on private property outside of the municipal boundaries of the Town of Bowden. The Town of Bowden and the Bowden & District Agricultural Society did not endorse or have any involvement in this event. Alberta Health Services had knowledge of the event and we were informed that they had jurisdiction,” the statement said.

On Tuesday, Premier Jason Kenney announced tighter restrictions that included reducing outdoor gatherings from 10 to five people with a strong recommendation to keep those gatherings to just two people. Mandatory physical distancing must be maintained at all times between members of different households. Restrictions apply to all communities with more than 50 cases per 100,000, and 30 or more active cases.

All indoor social gatherings are still prohibited.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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