Published: May 11, 2021
Alberta Health Services say they haven’t found any cases of COVID-19 yet in people who attended to the ‘No More Lockdowns Rodeo’ – but they warn it cases could still appear.
Held over the May 1 weekend near Bowden, AB, the No More Lockdowns Rodeo drew more than 4,000 attendees over the weekend in defiance of the third lockdown ordered by Premier Jason Kenney’s government.
“AHS has worked with RCMP, the Bowden Agriculture Society and Red Deer County to confirm the rodeo event was in violation of CMOH Orders, and attempted to work with organizers proactively to not allow the event to proceed,” said the AHS in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“On May 10, RCMP partners delivered charges against the organizers of the event for violation of the Public Health Act.
“At this time there are no cases directly linked to the rodeo event; however it is important to remember that symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. In some cases, symptoms may be mild and individuals may not seek out COVID-19 testing. COVID-19 can also be spread asymptomatically, and an individual may not know they are spreading the virus. This is why it is imperative that all Albertans continue to follow CMOH Orders to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus to others.
“On May 6, 2021 Court of Queen’s Bench granted AHS an injunction against organizers of illegal gatherings and rallies breaching COVID-19 public health orders. This applies to the organizers and future rodeo events.”
The No More Lockdowns Rodeo was organized on by Ty Northcott of Bowden, who comes from a historic rodeo family and opened up his own livestock ranch in the late ’80s.
But the three Alberta COVID-19 lockdowns have hit his business hard, leaving him with only 50% of his normal stock because the costs of wintering and feeding them depleted his bank account.
Following the rodeo, politicians in both the UCP and NDP lashed out, including Alberta Premier Jason Kenney who called it “disturbing.”
In a closed-door UCP caucus meeting the Sunday of the event, Kenney said in reference to the attendees of the rodeo, “If they are our base, I want a new base.”
And at the end of a Facebook town hall on May 4, Kenney lashed out at rodeo organizer Ty Northcott for some of his social media postings.