The provincial government introduced Bill 57, the Protection of Critical Infrastructure Act, on November 2, 2020. The Bill aims to further criminalize people participating in protests that block roads, railways, and any other infrastructure deemed "critical". It was introduced under a layer of secrecy that will not allow the text of the bill to be read until just before it is voted on.
With the little that we know about this bill, we suspect it will be similar to Alberta's Bill-1, Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, which has been found to violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in five different ways. All citizens have a right to free expression under the Charter, including the freedom to protest. This is an intimidation tactic to prevent Manitobans from participating in protest. Protest has been key to many gains won by ordinary people across North America in the past century, and this threat to our freedoms must be rejected.