Maxime Bernier admits to breaking COVID-19 public health orders in Manitoba

Maxime Bernier was in a Winnipeg court on Tuesday, where he admitted to violating public health orders in Manitoba.

The People’s Party of Canada leader was charged in June 2021 for attending rallies with more people than allowed at the time under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in Manitoba.

While Bernier admitted to the offences, his lawyer Alex Stiegerwald said those are not guilty pleas.

Two other charges, for failing to isolate, were stayed by the Crown.

Bernier repeated Tuesday what he said shortly after his arrest, that his 12-hour imprisonment amounted to “political repression.”

Bernier was arrested at the beginning of a three-day tour of the province, during which he attended rallies in rural communities south of Winnipeg.

Last week he announced his intention to run in an upcoming byelection for a federal seat in Manitoba.

The riding of Portage-Lisgar was held previously by longtime Conservative MP Candice Bergen, who served as the party’s interim leader last year and stepped down in February.

Bernier is a former cabinet minister who quit the Conservative caucus in 2018 to found the PPC.