The leader of the People's Party of Canada is in police custody.
Maxime Bernier, the party's leader, was arrested Friday afternoon in Manitoba. St. Pierre RCMP officers took him into custody outside of the town after Bernier held a small rally.
MAD MAD MANITOBA TOUR— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) June 11, 2021
Thank you to the residents of St-Pierre-Jolys (1k pop) who came to meet me!
Merci aux résidents de St-Pierre-Jolys (1k ha.) qui sont venus à ma rencontre! pic.twitter.com/DG0uCrfUyX
During the arrest, Bernier complied with the officer. When asked if he has anything that could hurt the officer, Bernier said "only my words."
A spokesperson from RCMP Manitoba says Bernier knew of the health orders and had already received tickets.
"It is the duty of the RCMP to enforce the laws of Manitoba, and those include public health orders. Mr. Bernier knew of the health orders and has already received a ticket. The continuation of the offence of violating the current public health orders in Manitoba has resulted in his arrest," the spokesperson for RCMP Manitoba says.
Bernier received his second ticket an hour before his arrest in Niverville.
"Just got another ticket for my presence at the Niverville event, and the officer warned me that I could be arrested if I go to other rallies," Bernier tweeted at the time.
Bernier spoke at a number of rallies this weekend in southern Manitoba, including stops today in Niverville, and St. Pierre.
While his speaking events drew significantly smaller crowds than previous anti-mask protests in Manitoba, outdoor gatherings are not allowed in Manitoba.
Bernier is being charged under the Public Health Act with Contravening a Provision of the Act (holding a gathering at an outdoor public place) and for not self-isolating when entering the province. RCMP say was arrested to prevent the continuation of an offence and will be brought before a magistrate.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms will be representing Bernier.
“It is far past time for the judiciary to restore the constitutional rights and freedoms of Manitobans, and end the arbitrary and oppressive diktats of Manitoba’s health regime. The Justice Centre stands ready to defend Mr. Bernier’s civil liberties," John Carpay, President of the Justice Centre says in a statement. “The arrest and detention of Mr. Bernier for supposed “health offences” is an exclamation point on the continued outrageous oppression of Manitobans by the Pallister government. Few, if any, other places on the planet are still locked down as tyrannically as Manitoba,” notes
The Justice Centre is currently waiting to address Bernier's bail.
On Friday morning, the Province of Manitoba sent out a release, reminding Manitobans that officials will be enforcing the health orders over the weekend.