Canadian populist Maxime Bernier has been found guilty of violating COVID lockdown restrictions in Saskatchewan during a pandemic freedom rally.
According to a provincial court judgment released this month, Bernier rallied in Saskatoon in May 2021 as part of his "Mad Max Saskatchewan Tour." At the time, he contravened a ban on public gatherings exceeding ten people.
Over 40 attendees received fines, but Judge Quentin Douglas Agnew wrote in his decision that all but seven defendants received a guilty verdict.
Of those considered not guilty, Agnew couldn’t prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that they attended the event. In his 38-page decision, he claims those defendants attended the event only in passing or had been misidentified.
However, Bernier told the court in September 2022 that he attended the rally. "Yes, I was there," he told CTV News at the time.
"I was proud to be there," said the PPC leader. "I’m proud of these people also. They are not ordinary Canadians; they are extraordinary Canadians."
In his ruling, Agnew did not specify the penalties for violators of COVID lockdown measures. However, those who contravened public health orders in Saskatchewan can be liable to pay fines upwards of $7,500 per person.
Bernier criticized the ruling, noting the apparent double standard in Canadian justice exacted during the pandemic.
"Another judge concludes I am a criminal because I spoke to more than 10 people at a rally during COVID hysteria," he said.
"When I challenged Trudeau’s travel ban on the unvaxxed, two courts dismissed it saying the situation has changed and it’s now 'moot,'" Bernier posted on his X feed.
"But two and a half years after having met more than 10 people at a rally in Saskatchewan, a judge found me guilty of violating a public health order that is equally moot," he claimed.
This is a developing story.