People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier says he violated Manitoba’s quarantine requirements for people not vaccinated against COVID-19 because he believes the rule is unconstitutional.

Bernier, who said he decided not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, returned to Manitoba on Monday for the first time since he was arrested by RCMP in June at a rally against public health orders in St-Pierre-Jolys.

“These orders are unconstitutional and immoral, and I will always fight for my freedom, the freedom of all Canadians,” Bernier said in an interview with CBC News.

Current public health orders state anyone entering Manitoba must self-isolate for 14 days, although people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and some essential workers are exempt.

On Monday, Bernier attended a rally in Steinbach, followed by events in Plum Coulee and Winnipeg.

In June, Bernier was charged under the Public Health Act for assembling in a gathering at an outdoor public place and for failing to self-isolate once he got to Manitoba.

When asked about why he did not self-isolate this time, Bernier said he was “taking a chance.”

“But if I have to go back to jail to defend our freedoms and the freedoms of all Canadians, I’ll do that.”

Bernier and his party have made opposition to mandatory vaccination and mask-wearing central to their platform in the 2021 election.

His next court date is set for Sept. 21 in St-Pierre-Jolys.

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