Despite being ticketed for contravening the Public Health Act, Benita Pedersen of Westlock is forging ahead with several more ‘anti-COVID’ rallies, including one in Slave Lake on March 4. According to an article in Town & Country Today, previous ‘Enough is Enough: All Fired Up for Freedom’ rallies in Barrhead, Westlock and Athabasca had earned Pedersen $1,200 fines for violating Alberta Health Services regulations on mass gatherings.
Pedersen is trying to drum up opposition to policies that have restricted business in Alberta. She operates a business herself – offering DJ services in Westlock and area.
Westlock News Publisher George Blais says two of the Enough is Enough rallies drew about 100 people, while the other three he’s aware of drew fewer than that. There have been two each in Barrhead and Westlock, so far, and one in Athabasca.
In Town & Country, Blais wrote: “Pedersen said previously she was inspired to organize local protests after attending rallies in Edmonton and connecting with groups such as Freedom4Canada and We Are All Essential. At the Westlock rally Pedersen told the crowd, “You can defy the rules, you can come to protests, you can organize a protest, you can take legal action. There’s many ways to do it. Get involved and do something.”
The ad in this week’s Leader does not mention a time or place, but Pedersen told The Leader it will be at 3:30 p.m. at a municipal building outside of town. She didn’t know the name of it, but RCMP Staff Sgt. Don Racette says he is aware of it and officers will be at the Visitor Information Centre, “watching from a distance, to make sure they are practicing AHS protocols.”
Other rallies are planned this week in Peace River (Mar. 5), Whitecourt (Mar. 3) and Fort McMurray (Mar. 6).