NB changes the Emergency Act to address disruptive protests

New Brunswick is making an addition to its Emergencies Act in response to a protest convoy scheduled to arrive in Fredericton, NB this weekend, advertised that it would “congest” the city.

Forbidden updates:

  • Stop, park or place any item in a manner that contributes to the normal flow of traffic on any road or highway.
  • Participate in, sponsor, organize or support any disruption of the normal flow of vehicle traffic on any roadway or highway. This includes providing fuel, food, drink or other supplies to anyone attempting to disrupt the normal flow of traffic.
  • Stop or gather with others along any numbered highways.

The province said the following items may be seized under the new update:

  • any vehicle obstructing a road or highway
  • illegally delivered supplies, including food, beverages, fuel, construction materials, noise objects, and weapons

“Everyone has the right to protest, but we must consider the safety of all New Brunswickers,” New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said in a press release.

“These updates are similar to measures taken in other jurisdictions.”

Police can fine people between $3,000 and $10,000 per violation, and corporations can face fines ranging from $20,000 to $100,000.

If convicted, a person’s driving rights can also be suspended for up to 12 months.

Krista Ross is the CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. She said she was relieved to hear about the new addition to the emergency order.

“Anything that disrupts the flow of customers is bad for business. Especially at this point,” Ross said.

“Today I had the opportunity to speak directly with the sheriff, who wanted to reassure the business community that they will do their best to make sure customers can come to those businesses.”

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