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Press release - Bernier Punished by Court for COVID Activism

Winnipeg, MB, May 16, 2023 — The Leader of the People’s Party of Canada and Portage-Lisgar by-election candidate, Maxime Bernier, appeared at the Provincial Court of Manitoba earlier today to challenge his unjust arrest on June 11, 2021 and other related covid fines.

The trial was originally scheduled to last 3 days. In order to expedite proceedings, and to avoid unnecessary expenses to Manitoba taxpayers, Bernier made an agreement with the Crown to admit to everything included in the Agreed Statement of Facts: that he did indeed travel to Manitoba without quarantining and hosted public meetings in violation of the ongoing covid restrictions. This is not an admission of guilt which would imply a violation of the Criminal Code rather than temporary provincial restrictions.

Bernier was charged with four counts; failure to isolate in Niverville, failure to isolate in St-Pierre-Jolys, gathering in Niverville, gathering in St-Pierre-Jolys. The Crown was forced to drop both charges relating to isolation as they illegally asked Bernier his vaccination status without first informing him of his right to an attorney.

Towards the end of the trial, the PPC leader had the opportunity to address the court.

“It was a dark time in Canada, I am proud of what I did.” Bernier stated to the judge. “It was the first time in Canadian history that a politician was thrown in jail for a non-crime. It was an embarrassing example of political repression.”

“I must admit, I did make a mistake. I should not have held the meeting outside. I should have done it in a Walmart where this gathering would have been allowed!”

The judge ultimately determined that Bernier’s time in jail was sufficient punishment for one of the fines, Bernier was told to pay a $1,300 fine in addition to costs and surcharges amounting to roughly $2,000.

Bernier requested to make a charitable donation to the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters to help support victims of domestic violence in place of his fine. The Judge refused Bernier’s request, demanding he make payment to the Manitoba government within 30 days.

Asked about how he thought his new constituents in Portage-Lisgar would feel about the court’s determination, Bernier’s response was simple:

“I think they will be very proud! The voter’s of Portage-Lisgar stood firmly against these unnecessary and tyrannical covid restrictions. They know that I was the only federal politician to stand up for our rights and freedoms throughout the covid years regardless of if the political establishment threatened me with fines or arrested me. I was ready to do what was right.”

Contact: For more information, please write to: [email protected]


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