(HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON) – Ontario Provincial Polcie (OPP) have issued a warning that anyone attending events at the McKenzie Meadows residnetial development site currently under protest could face charges.
Land Back Lane, as the housing development has been dubbed by land protectors on site has been holding weekly lacrosse games and concerts at the housing development.
OPP said since August 5, 2020 to date, OPP have charged a total of 23 individuals in relation to the McKenzie Meadows residential development site and demonstrations in Caledonia, Haldimand County, Ontario. All of the accused individuals are scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Cayuga at a later date to answer to the charges.
OPP said there have been several weekend events hosted at the McKenzie Meadows site that have attracted several people and are reminding people of both COVID-19 restrictions and outstanding court orders on the property.
“OPP is reminding all members of the public of the group gathering restrictions due to COVID-19 that are currently in effect and the applicable fines that individuals will face. Visit www.ontario.ca for further information.”
They said they are warning those who plan to attend the McKenzie Meadows site that they are subject to applicable charges.
Two court injunctions are currently in effect and prohibit anyone from being on the McKenzie Meadows property site located at 1535 McKenzie Road (also known as 1492 Land Back Lane) in Caledonia and also prohibit anyone from establishing road blockades in Haldimand County. OPP said they continue to obtain evidence and information during this ongoing investigation and they warn:
Dependent upon an individual’s actions, the following charges may be applicable to anyone:
- Disobeying Order of Court (court injunction)
- Obstruct Peace Officer: Everyone who resists or wilfully obstructs a peace officer in the execution of his/her duty
- Causing Disturbance: Impeding another person
- Mischief: Interfere with any person in the lawful use or enjoyment of property
- Intimidation: Block or obstruct a highway
The OPP said the offences are punishable upon conviction by fine and/or imprisonment. Additionally, the Highway Traffic Act authorizes the towing and impounding of vehicles under these circumstances.Following its court-endorsed Framework for Police Preparedness for Indigenous Critical Incidents, throughout the incident, the OPP Provincial Liaison Team is engaged in significant collaborative and respectful dialogue aimed at bringing about a peaceful resolution, while ensuring everyone’s safety and preserving their respective rights guaranteed by Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The OPP says it will act to preserve the peace, maintain public safety, investigate unlawful activity and enforce the law where appropriate, in accordance with police duties and responsibilities as set out in legislation and the common law. The OPP appreciates everyone’s cooperation and patience during these occurrences.