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N.B. makes change to Emergency Act to address disruptive protests

New Brunswick is making an addition to its Emergency Act in response to a protest convoy planned for Fredericton, N.B. this weekend, that is advertising it will "gridlock" the city.

The updates prohibit:

  • Stopping or parking a vehicle or placing any item in a way that contributes to blocking the normal flow of traffic on any road or highway.
  • Participating in, financing, organizing or aiding any interruption of the normal flow of vehicle traffic on any road or highway. This includes delivering fuel, food, drink or other supplies to anyone who is attempting to interrupt the normal flow of vehicle traffic.
  • Stopping or gathering with others along the side of any numbered highway.

The province says the following items may be seized under the new updates:

  • any vehicle obstructing a road or highway
  • supplies being delivered unlawfully, including food, drink, fuel, construction materials, noise-making objects and weapons

“People have a right to protest, but we have to take the safety of all New Brunswickers into consideration,” said New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs in a news release.

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

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

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

Krista Ross is the CEO of Fredericton's Chamber of Commerce. She says she is 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 time,” said Ross.

“I did have an opportunity today to speak directly to the chief of police who wanted to reassure the business community that they are going to do their utmost to ensure customers can get to those businesses.” Top Stories

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