PLT are part of the Winnipeg Police Service response to events such as demonstrations, protests, rallies, vigils and labour disputes.
PLT work with individuals or groups to help facilitate peaceful events and are a great resource for those planning on organizing or attending an event.
Our job is to dialog and work with all those affected by an event.
What to know before you go to a demonstration, protest, rally, vigil and labour disputes
- Your rights
- The role of police
- Consider your actions
- Communicate with police pre-event
- When actions could result in charges
- Know the local by-laws
- Understand the consequences
- Ask questions
- Working together is better for everyone
- Gather to peacefully assert your rights
- Express your thoughts, beliefs and opinions
- Get your messaging out in a lawful way
- Have freedom of association
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees certain rights and fundamental freedoms. Section 2 of the Charter guarantees your right to believe what you choose, and to express your values. WPS recognizes the importance of fundamental freedoms and all other protections in the charter.
If you are not sure, ask
- Is this considered a peaceful/lawful event?
- Does this event require a permit?
- Am I allowed to wear a mask?
Though all Canadians are entitled to rights and freedoms, section 1 of the charter calls for certain limitations. Rights and freedoms are not without responsibilities. The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized that freedoms in the charter cannot be extended to protect and justify threats or acts of violence like assault, destruction of property, or unlawful conduct.
- Block or obstruct a highway
- Breach the peace
- Cause a disturbance, take part in a riot
- Wear a mask or disguise during an unlawful assembly, or, with intent to commit an indictable offense
- Disobey a court order
- Harm or injure anyone
- Possess weapons of any kind including substances such as tear gas
The Criminal Code of Canada and/or “Case Law” contains various provisions that act to limit or control certain activities related to public demonstrations.
Know the consequences
There also may be provincial and municipal statutes that apply during demonstrations such as the Highway Traffic Act. Protesting unlawfully has the potential to affect your future in various ways.
Charges resulting in a criminal record, could result in things like:
- Travel limitations
- Possibility of limited employment prospects
- Impacts when obtaining insurance or renting housing
- Further legal consequences if breaching a court order
If you are planning a demonstration, protest, rally, vigil or having labour disputes and have questions email us at WPS-CommunityRelations@winnipeg.ca and we will have one of our PLT officers reach out to you.