A rodeo planned for this weekend in central Alberta has been postponed after Alberta Health Services was granted an injunction.
On Friday, AHS was granted the injunction in the Court of Queen’s Bench Friday against the organizers of the “No More Jason Kenney Pro Rodeo Rally,” which was scheduled to run Saturday and Sunday near Bowden.
Shortly after, Northcott Rodeo Inc. announced on its Facebook page that the event was postponed.
“We want to be clear that we are not postponing this by our choice. This is what AHS and (Court of Queen’s Bench Justice John Rooke) have forced us into. Never would we have dreamed that in a free country, it would be illegal to do a rodeo rally,” said Ty Northcott.
“Maybe Premier Kenney doesn’t like the name of our event: the ‘No More Jason Kenney Pro Rodeo Rally.’”
The granted injunction prevents the organizers from holding any future events that don’t comply with public health orders, including masking, attendance limits and physical distancing, as well as complying with any requirements that may exist for sporting competitions or spectator events.
The injunction applies to the organizers, as well as any attendees present at any events put on by the organizers.
“The injunction includes police enforcement and imposes significant consequences on the organizers or attendees of this event and deters others from organizing similar events in the future,” AHS said in a statement Friday.
AHS said it took this step due to the ongoing risk to Albertans created by those breaching COVID-19 public health restrictions and advertising social gatherings.
“Previous enforcement efforts against the organizers, as well as attempts to proactively work with them to not proceed with the event have been exhausted by AHS and law enforcement partners.”
This injunction follows a pre-emptive injunction granted on May 6, against anyone who is organizing, promoting and/or attending an illegal public gathering that does not comply with COVID-19 public health orders.
“AHS strongly condemns the intentional disobeying of COVID-19 public health restrictions.
“It is extremely disappointing that people would knowingly put their fellow Albertans at risk by ignoring the current rules.”
AHS Environmental Public Health enforces restrictions, in partnership with partners, including but not limited to municipalities authorities, police and RCMP. AHS is strongly encouraging Albertans to continue to follow all health restrictions.
Early in May, the “No More Lockdowns Rodeo Rally,” organized by Northcott Rodeo Inc., took place on private land just outside of Bowden and hundreds of spectators attended the event, defying public health measures.
Ty and Gail Northcott were served a summons for a violation under Section 73(1) of the Public Health Act. Alberta Health Services confirmed that one COVID-19 case was connected to the illegal rodeo event.