People's Party leader Maxime Bernier arrested in Manitoba

People's Party leader Maxime Bernier arrested in Manitoba
Twitter / @nicbufflin
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Police in Manitoba have arrested People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier during his provincial tour. Bernier was in Manitoba with a plan to host events in multiple cities, but was warned by the province's public health authorities that he would be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in the province.

The People's Party leader instead vowed to continue on with his rallies in spite of the warning.

In a video posted to his Instagram, the former MP is seen being detained by an RCMP officer. The officer asks if Bernier has any weapons or anything else that might hurt him, to which Bernier replies “no, no [nothing] that will hurt you, only my words, only my philosophy. Only what I believe in.”

Bernier is then escorted away to a police vehicle.

Earlier in the day, Bernier held his first rally on the tour, speaking in the small town of Niverville — population approximately 4,000 — where reportedly around 50 people attended.

Following that rally, the populist leader was pulled over and issued a $1,296 ticket for violating Manitoba's public health guidelines. The officer, aware of Bernier's plans to hold several more rallies throughout the day, advised that Bernier could receive further charges or arrest if he continued.

“I just wanted to let you know, if you continue on to your other engagements, you could receive another offence notice or possibly [be] arrested,” the officer cautioned.

Mike LeBlanc, a high-ranking bureaucrat for Manitoba Health, allegedly issued a warning to Bernier that the People's Party leader shared with the public via his Twitter account on June 10.

The message warned that Bernier would be required to quarantine for 14 days when he arrived in the province, claiming that while exemptions to the quarantine did exist, none applied for this political appearance. Gatherings, the letter said, both on public and private land, were prohibited.

“As a person of integrity who is seeking a national leadership position, I am sure you will understand the need to abide by these conditions,” LeBlanc's message shared by Bernier read. “We expect your full cooperation and compliance.”  

Bernier has been on a speaking tour across the country, holding rallies calling for an end to lockdowns and for a return to normalcy. He has received numerous charges for hosting these political rallies, including at an event held alongside independent Ontario MPP Randy Hillier in Peterborough, where Rebel reporter David Menzies was also charged.

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