The member of parliament who represents northern Saskatchewan is speaking out about recent demonstrations against COVID-19 public health measures.

Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River MP Gary Vidal lays the blame for the protests, which have shut down borders crossings and impacted Parliament Hill in Ottawa, at the feet of the current federal government.

“Their the result of a significant level of frustration that we’re seeing in the Canadian people at this point, I mean, we have a leader that has vilified and name called,” he said.

When it comes to people currently blockading border crossings as well as those who have been occupying the area around Parliament Hill, Vidal said people who go too far need to be held accountable. However, he did not specifically call for those currently taking part in demonstrations to go home.

“In a democratic society we have to always respect people’s, (right) to protest or to demonstrate in a peaceful manner, what I’ve consistently said … is that when people cross lines, when they do things that’s not acceptable they should be called out, they should be held accountable,” he said.

Vidal added those who have taken part in such actions should know their voices have been heard as the Conservatives will be pushing for the removal of federal mandates. The northern MP said demonstrators need to consider the impact their actions are having on other people.

“When you’re harming your fellow citizens in ways that may be irreparable its time for you to show respect and allow them to get on with their lives as well,” he said.

The federal Conservative Party as well made news recently when the party caucus voted to remove leader Erin O’Toole. Vidal said going forward the party needs to get behind the current leader to properly hold the government to account.

“We need to unite behind our interim leader Candice Bergen and we need to move forward and come together as a group and get rid of some of the division,” he said.

Heading in to the caucus vote Vidal said it was hard to get the overall feeling of many of his caucus colleagues on the issue. He declined to share how he voted on O’Toole’s leadership.