I have spent the bulk of my working life in and around policing. Ordinarily, I would publicly defend the police — especially in cases of citizen journalism. I put context to what we are seeing and silence the baying hounds. 

However, after viewing the video of Gatineau Police responding to a neighbour’s complaint of members of a family holding a New Year’s Eve gathering, I cannot defend it for a number of reasons.

Police attended the private residence at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night. They found a gathering of six people — all from the same family, but from three different addresses. They tried to order the gathering to break up but encountered some resistance from the mom of the family and her son who came to her defence. 

The situation escalated and police called for backup. They ended up arresting two of the people — the mom and the son. 

Yes, that’s correct. The police arrested two people for holding a family gathering on New Year’s Eve. 

The video of the altercation, which was taken by the sister, went viral and forced Gatineau Police to issue several explanations on Twitter.  

They claim the son will be charged with assault of an officer and obstruction. The mother has not been charged and won’t be if their public statements are to be believed.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not get suspended because of a pandemic. The police dragged two people from a private home — I can’t even imagine what they thought their authority was to do that. 

This occurred on the heels of the Calgary Police arresting a man playing shinny on a frozen pond because “he wouldn’t cooperate.” Again, they were enforcing public health restrictions or so they said. 

This weekend, the Toronto Police issued a public notification that they will be patrolling the 54 outdoor skating rinks and tobogganing slopes in their jurisdiction. This comes even after our public health officials told us that COVID-19 much less likely to spread outdoors.

Meanwhile, politicians across the country ignored public health restrictions and went on holidays in the Caribbean and in places like Las Vegas and Hawaii. 

The politicians don’t obey them anyway so why should anyone else?

We have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous with these COVID restrictions. 

Any way you take it or shake it, this is nuts and a violation of our rights and freedoms.

This is nothing more than the government trying to control us with arguments that don’t stand up to scrutiny. 

This government overreach needs to end.

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