Man spotted in video taken at Saskatoon children’s 'freedom rally' identified as school custodian
SASKATOON -- A man seen in a video attending a children’s "freedom rally" taking aim at COVID-related public health measures has been identified as the evening caretaker at an elementary school in the city.
According to parents who viewed the clip, the video shared on Twitter shows Hugh Cairns V.C. School custodian Brent Wintringham attending the kid-focused rally on Saturday.
Wintringham, who also goes by “R.B. Ham,” is seen among the crowd of about 100 people, most of whom were not wearing masks.
“It’s all about the kids today. No political statement other than we want our kids to get back to normal,” Wintringham says in the video.
The event held near the Vimy Memorial featured a magician, hula hoops, bubbles and jump roping.
Parents who spoke with CTV News said Wintringham’s attendance is disturbing and puts their kids at risk.
“I recognized him right away,” Amanda Harder, who has three kids at the school, told CTV News.
“It’s really concerning. I’m not happy about it, that’s for sure. It just tells me that he has no concern over my kids health," she said.
In an April 17 story, Prince Albert news outlet paNOW identified Wintringham, going by his R.B. Ham pseudonym, as a participant in another anti-public health measure "freedom rally."
On Friday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority warned of an increased COVID-19 exposure risk for those who participated in the Prince Albert event and said anyone who attended should immediately self-isolate.
CTV News has reached out to Wintringham for comment and has not yet received a response.
Another parent CTV news spoke with who has two kids enrolled at the school where Wintringham works said he fears the custodian's personal beliefs could interfere with his work— which presumably involves sanitizing surfaces.
“If I didn't believe something was necessary, or if I believed it was actually counterproductive, I probably wouldn't do it," Gutek said.
Following the rally on Saturday, Hugh Cairns V.C. School's principal Ian Wilson sent a letter to parents. Wilson stated he can’t provide specific details, but reiterated school policy.
“Many of you have raised concerns,” Wilson said in the letter.
“If the school division is aware of a student or staff member being ordered to self-isolate, the individual is prohibited from entering the school for the extent of the order," Wilson wrote.
The parents' questions surrounding Wintringham's participation in the events come as a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the school over the weekend.
Saskatoon Police Service said it's investigating the activities at the rally. No tickets have been issued yet.