Rally-goers at Alberta Legislature Grounds take $1,200 COVID tickets to court

May 26th, 2020

Pat Tipper, also being detained by Sheriffs and taken off the Legislature grounds.

Cory Teichroew, handcuffed and being taken off the Legislature grounds by Sheriffs.

EDMONTON: The Justice Centre is representing two Edmonton residents, Pat Tipper and Cory Teichroew, after the men were detained by Alberta Sheriffs and ticketed during a peaceful rally at the Alberta Legislature grounds. Both of the tickets, for “contravening section 73(1) of the Public Health Act”, are in the amount of $1,200.

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 10, approximately 50 people attended the Edmonton Legislature grounds to rally and express their views regarding various issues, such as the recent gun ban imposed by the federal government and the current lockdown measures imposed by the Alberta Government. The rally-goers were spread out and maintaining at least 2 meters distance from each other. Also in attendance were at least 20 Sheriffs and Edmonton Police officers.

A few of the rally-goers, including Pat Tipper, had megaphones and gave speeches while others listened.

The rally was peaceful. After about 30 minutes, three teams of three Sheriffs each moved among the people and targeted specific individuals. The first was Cory Teichroew, an Aboriginal man. One of the Sheriffs pointed at him and said “that one”. Three Sheriffs surrounded him, handcuffed him and took him away. He was then given a $1,200 ticket for “contravening section 73(1) of the Public Health Act”. No explanation was provided to Mr. Teichroew as to what law he had supposedly broken.

Mr. Tipper was also escorted by Sheriffs off the Legislature grounds and given a similar ticket as Mr. Teichroew. Meanwhile, three Sheriffs picked up another man sitting peacefully and carried him away by his arms and legs. None of the individuals were within two meters of anyone else when they were apprehended by Sheriffs.

“The Canadian Constitution protects the rights of people to peacefully assemble and to express their opinions in public places, especially at places with symbolic democratic importance such as the Legislature grounds. The Charter does not cease to protect these rights, even during a declared public health emergency,” stated Justice Centre lawyer James Kitchen.

“COVID-19 has not suspended the rule of law. The Sheriffs acted in a heavy-handed and arbitrary manner by handcuffing and ticketing Mr. Teichroew and detaining and ticketing Mr. Tipper while they were peacefully exercising their constitutional rights at the Legislature grounds.”