Tamara Lavoie

Anti-lockdown protester Tamara Lavoie took on a new hobby this past year – the Regina resident collects fines for protesting COVID-19 restrictions.

In a recent Facebook post, Lavoie posed with a lighter underneath a handful of tickets and wrote: “$2800…$7500…$10k…it really makes no difference to me. Unlawful tickets from the criminal government make the best kindling no matter which fake fine price you tack on them,” she wrote.

Lavoie, who has organized weekly anti-lockdown rallies in Regina for the past year, has received four fines.

The first was December 12, 2020, but she’s been busy of late, getting three more – March 6, March 27, and April 3 this year — each for $2,800.

And she has also been served four summons to appear, including one on March 27 for using an amplified voice without a permit.

“I’ve been busy though leading the province in fines, all for gathering over the limit at a rally and not complying with the public health order except for one. Rumor has it I have another fine coming for the Chris Sky rally. Guess we shall see about this Saturday, but based on the new fine prices for organizers it seems like they’ll want police to issue the big $7,500 one,” Lavoie told the Western Standard.

Until recently, Saskatchewan’s fine for attending a gathering of more than 10 people was $2,000 with an $800 surcharge.

“It’s clear that the $2,800 tickets that are being issued right now aren’t serving as a deterrence for these protests in fact, we’re seeing protesters quite loudly brag when they receive these tickets,” NDP justice critic Nicole Sarauer told CTV.

On May 3, fines jumped to $7,500 with a $3,000 surcharge to total $10,500. The NDP wanted special fines for protest organizers of $10,000 plus a $4,000 surcharge.

Lavoie has not paid any of her fines.

“Almost all my dates have been moved twice now. May 12 would be my first court date, but we’ll see if traffic court gets bumped again. JCCF lawyers will attend on my behalf,” Lavoie said, referring to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

As of mid-April, Saskatchewan had issued more than 100 fines, but only collected a total of $12,000 from five people. Seven businesses have been fined for $10,000 plus a $4,000 surcharge.

Smaller protests were held in front of Regina’s Catholic and public school board buildings in recent days. Lavoie said police caught up with a nursing student at the public school protest on Tuesday to ticket her for attending the Chris Sky rally on April 24.

“Police tricked her into giving her name, saying they were going to talk to the school board for her, and then 5 (police) units showed up with a ticket,” Lavoie said.

Lavoie expects to be ticketed again as she attends another anti-lockdown rally in Regina on Saturday. Slated speakers include Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson, Artur Pawlowsky, RC the Rapper, Adam Skelly of Adamson BBQ, People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier and the “Grizzly Patriot” Mark Friesen.

“I’m excited about Saturday because the days of just marching in the streets is over. People are ready to take action. We’ve formed groups for going after the school boards to unmask the kids, uniting small businesses and helping people shop mask-free without being bullied and harassed. Saskatchewan is a little slower to get on board but we’re feeling the shift as well as the panic from the establishment,” Lavoie said.

“Saturday we’re going to have kids from 9 years to 18 years speaking, as well as business owners. It’s not just for our outspoken ticket-taking protestors anymore to keep repeating the same truths and injustices we’ve been preaching about for the last year. We want to hear from real people who are both struggling and rising up. Fines or no fines, it’s going to be an inspirational and fun day for everyone.”

Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan

Senior Contributor (Saskatchewan)

Lee Harding is the Senior Saskatchewan Contributor for the Western Standard and Saskatchewan Standard based in the Regina Bureau. He has served as the Saskatchewan Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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