Bail for pair accused of holding protest outside home of N.S. senior health official
DARTMOUTH, N.S. – Two people arrested for allegedly planning an anti-mask protest outside the home of Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health have been released on bail.
During a hearing Friday in Dartmouth, N.S., Judge Alanna Murphy ruled that 36-year-old Jeremy MacKenzie and 31-year-old Morgan May Guptill would each be released on $10,000 bail and abide by certain conditions.
MacKenzie and Guptill agreed to the conditions of the order, which state the two are not to contact chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang or his family, either directly or indirectly, unless through a lawyer. They also agreed not to enter within 50 metres of Strang or his wife’s home or workplace, or own firearms and other prohibited weapons.
The order also prevents the two from posting on social media about Strang and his family and engaging in or counselling anyone to protest against health officials, education professionals or elected officials. It also prohibits the two from going within 25 metres of the homes of any health officials, education professionals or elected officials.
The pair were charged with criminal harassment, intimidation of a health professional, mischief and making harassing phone calls following protests outside Strang’s home on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Their next court appearance is scheduled for late April.
On Thursday, the Nova Scotia legislature rapidly adopted new legislation protecting senior health officials from harassment and intimidation directly outside their homes.
Justice Minister Brad Johns said the changes to the law were in response to the protests, adding that the legislation extends the existing 50-metre safe buffer zone prohibiting protests around health-care facilities to include the homes of health workers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2022.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.