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‘We all suffer. But allowing these protests to continue without ticket sales is throwing us in the face, ”she said. “It feels disrespectful to people who have COVID or those who have lost loved ones.”
In a statement, Vancouver Police Const. Tania Visintin said VPD officers “support people’s right to peaceful protest because it is their democratic right – whether or not they agree with what is being protested.”
Officers must exercise discretion in weighing a citizen’s right to peaceful protest against the current possible harm from gatherings.
“Mass arrests are not possible or desirable,” Visintin said. “Ticketing and arrests can escalate an already passionate situation, and when there are larger groups of people, the risk of injury to both protesters and police officers increases.”
But she added that the position of the VPD does not guarantee anyone special privileges in a protest. “The bottom line is, if people violate public health regulations, they can get a ticket.”
The City of Vancouver responded to a request from Postmedia News with a statement clarifying that enforcing physical distance in public with punishment is the competence of the provincial government. City staff are responsible for ensuring compliance on city beaches, parks, bars, restaurants, and businesses that provide personalized services.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks have confirmed that they have said goodbye to the team’s anthem singer, Mark Donnelly, after saying he intended to sing ‘O Canada ‘ at an anti-mask rally.