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'Proud' politician Maxime Bernier, who broke Canadian COVID lockdown rules by hosting freedom rallies, jokes about his $2,000 fine: 'I should have done it in a Walmart'
Image via Maxime Bernier / Twitter (screenshot)

'Proud' politician Maxime Bernier, who broke Canadian COVID lockdown rules by hosting freedom rallies, jokes about his $2,000 fine: 'I should have done it in a Walmart'

A fine amounting to approximately $2,000 was issued to People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier nearly two years after his arrest for failing to isolate during government-mandated COVID lockdowns.

The PPC issued a press release that explained Bernier had been charged with failure to isolate in Niverville, Manitoba, failure to isolate in St-Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba, gathering in Niverville, and gathering in St-Pierre-Jolys. The political leader was holding a series of rallies in rural Manitoba towns at the time of his arrest.

However, according to the statement, the government was forced to drop both charges relating to isolation, as police allegedly illegally asked Bernier about his vaccination status without first informing him of his right to an attorney.

Bernier's team said that he made an agreement with the crown to admit to an agreed statement of facts, which stated that he did indeed travel to Manitoba without quarantining and hosted public meetings in violation of the ongoing COVID restrictions. This was not an admission of guilt, however, the release stated.

Judge Anne Krahn reportedly "scolded" Bernier for his violations and ordered a $1,296 CAD fine, plus court costs, totaling $2,008.30, according to the Western Standard.

“It was a dark time in Canada. I am proud of what I did,” Bernier told 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," Bernier continued.

Bernier said that he requested to make a donation to a women's shelter organization in the same amount of the fine, but the judge denied the request.

Bernier told TheBlaze that he felt he was "targeted" and that "it was political persecution on the part of the Manitoba government, which didn't wanted to have protests or any debate taking place about its authoritarian COVID measures."

"Political corruption is endemic," Bernier said. "Our national debt has exploded, inflation is eating away at our standard of living, and yet the government keeps increasing spending in an unsustainable way. Meanwhile, it is letting in over a million newcomers a year and making housing unfordable for a whole generation of young Canadians," he concluded.

The PPC leader is now running in a federal by-election in Portage-Lisgar, Manitoba, as he hopes to get a seat in the House of Commons. Obtaining a federal seat would allow him to participate in public question periods with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The by-election is scheduled for June 19, 2023. Bernier has 30 days to pay his fine.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
@andrewsaystv →