Charges dropped against organizer of illegal anti-restriction rodeo

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Stayed charges against the organizer of an illegal anti-restriction rodeo

Participants at the Bowden rodeo in central Alberta were demanding an end to restrictions and a return to normal life. (Archives)

Charges against one of the organizers of a rodeo against sanitary measures which took place near Bowden in 2021 have been dropped.

The trial of two Ty and Gail Northcott's days were scheduled to open Thursday in Red Deer, but as the hearing began, prosecutor Peter Mackenzie said charges against Gail Northcott had been dropped, without giving reasons.

The hearing was then adjourned because Peter Mackenzie told Provincial Court Judge Michael Scrase that he received a late disclosure of documents from Alberta Health Services (AHS) and that the documents had only been forwarded to the Northcotts' lawyer this week.

Ty Northcott is now due to appear in December.

Ty and Gail Northcott had originally been charged with violating Alberta health law after hosting a rodeo against health measures on May 1-2, 2021. The event, which brought together hundreds of people, was held on private land about 30 kilometers south of Red Deer.

At the time of the charges, Alberta Health Services said officials worked with Red Deer County and Olds RCMP to confirm the event did violate Medical Officer of Health orders. Alberta Chief of Party Deena Hinshaw.

With information from Meghan Grant

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