Judge issues court injunction against weekend rodeo protesting health restrictions

·1 min read

CALGARY — Two Albertans have been handed a court injunction against their planned weekend rodeo protesting the province's health restrictions.

The event, organized by Ty and Gail Northcott, was set to run Saturday and Sunday near Bowden in central Alberta.

Alberta Health Services says in a news release that the injunction prevents the organizers from holding any future events that don't comply with health orders such as masking, attendance limits and physical distancing.

They say it applies to the organizers as well as any attendees.

The Northcotts organized a similar maskless "No More Lockdowns'" rodeo in early May when hundreds attended in direct violation of public health orders meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Jay Cameron, a lawyer with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms who represented the Northcotts in court, says he argued that the rodeo was to be a peaceful protest but the judge considered it a sporting event because there would be horses in a corral.

Ads for the event that posted on social media described it as a "No More Jason Kenney Pro Rodeo Rally."

Cameron says it's clear Kenney’s drinks and dinner on a rooftop patio this week broke COVID-19 health rules.

He argued in court that it would be a double standard if the Northcotts couldn't hold a rodeo while provincial politicians aren't complying with their own health orders.

Kenney has said the dinner, which included Health Minister Tyler Shandro, was within public health rules because it was under the 10-person limit on outdoor social gatherings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press