nb-blogger-leblanc-arrest

Charles LeBlanc, a controversial N.B. blogger, was arrested outside the legislature on Thursday. ((CBC))

One of New Brunswick's most well-known and controversial bloggers was arrested and taken off the legislature grounds by police in Fredericton Thursday.

Charles LeBlanc blogs about politics and social justice issues in Fredericton and has been barred from the legislature grounds since June 2006.

LeBlanc has often been spotted around the legislature but on Thursday he was arrested after a protest and was taken away in a police car.

"Fascism in action," LeBlanc said as he was being led to a patrol car by Fredericton police officers. "I was out covering a protest, that's all I was doing."

Const. Ralph Currie, a spokesman for Fredericton police, confirmed officers did arrest a man at the legislature at about 12:45 p.m. Thursday but he would not identify the individual.  Currie said the person was released a short time later on a promise to appear in court at a later date.

The investigation is continuing, but that individual may face charges related to trespassing and mischief, Currie said.

International headlines

LeBlanc made international headlines in November 2006 when he was acquitted on an obstruction charge.  He had been arrested when he was blogging coverage of a demonstration at the Atlantica business conference in Saint John in June 2006.

LeBlanc has long been a controversial figure around the legislature.

When he was barred from the legislative assembly's grounds in 2006, LeBlanc posted a notice on his website that he received from Dan Bussières, the legislature's sergeant-at-arms.

The notice accused LeBlanc of demonstrating "unacceptable behaviour within the legislative precincts, which has included harassment and disrespectful behaviour toward legislative staff, members of the Security Detail and members of the public."

The notice includes a map of the district, with lines drawn around the streets where LeBlanc is prohibited from walking.

If LeBlanc refuses to stay away, the notice says, he will be charged with assault under the Criminal Code of Canada.