Police may shift focus to ensuring ‘freedom’ rally at Sadlon Centre remains peaceful

Another ‘freedom’ rally similar to the events that have occurred at Meridian Place and Centennial Park is expected to happen Saturday at the Sadlon Centre parking lot. Police are urging people not to attend


With another ‘freedom’ rally anticipated for tomorrow (Saturday) at the Sadlon Arena parking lot, the Barrie Police Service is warning potential attendees they could face legal repercussions.
Anyone who attends this unlawful and irresponsible event may face fines and/or court dates with a provincial offence notice being served at the time of the event or up to 30 days after the date of the offence, police caution.
“Do not attend unlawful gatherings. There are safer ways to voice your opinions without breaking the law and increasing the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus,” states Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood.
“Following the advice of public health officials and compliance with COVID-19 related laws are everyone’s responsibility to reduce harm and stop the spread. Thank you to our community who are doing their part to end the pandemic as safely and as quickly as possible.”
The gathering being planned is expected to be similar to the recent weekend protests at Meridian Place and Centennial Park. The event being advertised is expected to occur at the Sadlon Arena parking lot along Bayview Drive between noon and 4 p.m.
The service says it and the City do not support or permit these gatherings, as they are in contravention of provincial law. The stay-at-home order does not allow you to leave your home for the purpose of attending this event, nor are gatherings with people outside of your household permitted under the provincewide shutdown. 
During the event, police will focus on crowd control management, and policing efforts may shift from enforcement of provincial legislation to reducing harm to the community by ensuring the gathering remains peaceful. This is a standard practice for police throughout Ontario when large crowds gather. Police will attend and monitor the event to prevent crime such as assaults, mischiefs, and threats.
The Sadlon Arena parking lot will not be fenced off as this location will likely have the least negative impact on our community compared to other areas within Barrie.

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