TORONTO, December 1, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Canadians need to push back against “insane” government COVID-19 restrictions that are an unjustified suppression of individual rights and doing more harm than good, a number of speakers told a wildly cheering crowd at Queen’s Park last week.
As Ontario goes, so Canada goes, and that’s why he is spearheading the No More Lockdowns movement and organizing anti-lockdown rallies, which he hopes will catch on across the country, MPP Randy Hillier told the November 26 rally that drew an estimated 700 people.
The energized crowd banged pots and pans, waved signs with slogans such as: “No mask, no vaccine, no communism”; “We are all essential,” “Lockdowns make the rich richer and the poor poorer” and broke into chants of “Freedom! freedom!” and “No more lockdowns!”
Hillier, an Independent MPP for the rural southeast riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, was subsequently charged with violating the province’s Reopening Ontario Act for organizing and attending the rally.
The protest contravened Premier Doug Ford’s order classifying Toronto and surrounding Peel region as of November 23 as “grey zones,” which have the most severe restrictions of the province’s five zones, including a limit of 10 people at outdoor organized public events or social gatherings.
Hillier is scheduled to appear in court January 7, 2021. The penalty for a conviction runs from a minimum $10,000 fine to a maximum $100,000 fine and a year in jail.
He told Global News that he is looking forward to challenging the constitutionality of Ontario’s COVID-19 restrictions in court.
As well as Hillier, protest speakers included Lisa Bildy, a lawyer for the Calgary-based Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF); Don Welsh, University of Waterloo professor of physiology and pharmacology; Simone Jennifer Smith of Toronto Caribbean News, and Pastor Jacob Reaume of Trinity Bible Chapel in Waterloo.
Authorities “petty tyrants” with “insane” goal: lawyer
Bildy told the crowd that she was “delighted to see so many Ontarians standing up for freedom and for democracy … the Charter is being sorely tested right now but you are giving it life!”
Authorities have become “petty tyrants” whose goal has moved beyond “flattening the curve,” to “demanding that we lockdown until a virus is completely eradicated,” she said.
Ontario has 14.4 million people, of which 115,000 die every year. Since March, 3,500 Ontarians have died from COVID-19, which is three percent of the province’s total annual deaths, said Bildy, noting that the average age of those who succumbed to the virus was 82, while the life expectancy of Canadians is 81.
“So why are 3,500 COVID deaths since March more sad, or more tragic, than the other 111,500 deaths this year?” she asked.
Moreover, “many of these 111,500 non-COVID deaths will be caused by lockdowns measures, such as suicides, delayed cancer diagnoses, missed surgeries, drug overdoses.”
At the same time, “investigative reporting is rare, medical professionals who challenge the prevailing consensus are often be quickly sidelined, their videos taken down, their professional regulators called upon to punish them,” said Bildy.
“This is dangerous to a free society.”
JCCF is “insanely busy” and “inundated with pleas for help and concern about government overreach from across the country since March,” she told the crowd.
JCCF sued the Ford government on behalf of the Aylmer Church of God after Ontario police threatened to fine it for holding drive-in services. The government then “backtracked,” and when faced with threat of further legal action, amended restrictions to allow churches to open to 30 percent capacity.
“So they know that they cannot justify these measures in court,” she said. The JCCF has litigation pending in Manitoba and is “going to branch out to other provinces.”
People need to contact their elected representatives, support the JCCF and “work to change the hearts and minds of your fellow citizens to change, and to cherish our freedoms,” Bildy said.
“I’ll just leave you with this thought. Liberty is easily traded away for safety and comfort, but the cost to buy it back is measured in blood.”
Eradicating a virus “simply not possible”: professor
Despite dire predictions that COVID-19 would be as devastating as the 1918 Spanish flu, “we learned very quickly that Cov-2 was not that threat but could be managed through standard precautions,” Don Welsh, professor in physiology and pharmacology from the University of Western Ontario, told the rally.
It was also alleged that the population had no immunity to COVID-19, a claim that was quickly disproved in “200 peer reviewed articles” which documented that “COV-2 is really not that special in the viral world. It is reasonably average and honestly, a little bit uninteresting to study,” Welsh said to laughter.
Also “highly inaccurate” was the assertion that “healthy people were asymptomatic vectors, possibly super-spreading COV-2 to everyone” and which led government to overly rely on testing “the non-symptomatic or healthy public,” using PCR testing that is “not fit for purpose,” Welsh said.
“More distressingly, the public health community is starting to retreat and embrace what we call ‘COVID-zero’ policies,” he commented.
“This is a fantasy based on the belief that restrictions, if applied in some sort of puritanical manner, can eradicate a respiratory virus. This is simply not possible. It has never happened in the history of humankind.”
With no “firm grounding in science and evidence-based medicine,” the actions of public health officials have become “increasingly arbitrary” and have led to the public’s loss of confidence in health officials, and to further arbitrary actions by government, which “eats away at the democratic process,” he said.
“It’s not uncommon for scientists and health officials to trap themselves into dangerous group-think,” and abandon critical thinking for adherence to “current dogma,” and this is what is now “impinging upon an effective COVID-19 response,” Welsh said.
Ford should “repopulate his scientific advisory panel” and engage people outside the “current narrow bubble,” he suggested, to cries of “Fire them! Fire them!” from the crowd.
The pandemic will end, but “we as citizens should demand a full public inquiry into the COVID-19” response, he said to a roar of approval.
“We want facts. We don’t want emotion”: journalist
Simone Jennifer Smith of the Toronto Caribbean News urged the crowd to “call out” the mainstream media for uncritically parroting government talking points.
“All that media pushes out right now is cases that are going up. All they want to talk about is everything, but not facts, not things like the PCR test gets false positives” or the danger of adverse effects of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I want us to be calling out places like CTV News … CP24, Global, CNN, Fox, all of them,” Smith said to cheers.
“We want facts. We don’t want emotion. We want facts. … We are inundated by news that is not for us, but is against us. Stop the fear mongering.”
Pastor Jacob Reaume of Trinity Bible Chapel in Waterloo, told the rally-goers that he supports “every business that would open and defy these orders,” pointing out that God decreed that man should labor for six days, and rest on the seventh.
“You’ve got no right to tell people not to work, sir,” he fired at the Premier Ford.
“We are living under tyranny,” Reaume added. “And I'll tell you how we got here. We as a nation have intentionally rejected the law of God.”
Michael Thiessen, pastor Grace Baptist Church in Alliston said that he and several other pastors attended the rally because “we deeply believe that the liberties that we have as Canadians are connected to our identity in Christ and not connected to the government trying to be our parents.”
He was surprised “at how many people still aren’t here,” Thiessen told LifeSiteNews.
“We’re nine months into this situation and we desperately need Canadians to be taking responsibility…and not pretending to need a nanny government to overreact for them.”
As for being in violation of “grey zone” restrictions, “I do not see this as full civil disobedience,” Thiessen observed.
“Christians are really struggling with what is the line for civil disobedience. By coming together as an assembly, we are not actually breaking the law … we are contravening an order,” he said.
“What we are doing is expressing a legal right in a context that is speaking back to a government that is actually creating arbitrary laws.”
“We are made free … by Almighty God”: nun
Sam Riolo told LifeSiteNews that he attended the rally because lockdowns need to stop.”
“We’re just being suppressed by this government,” he said. “Doug Ford really needs to wake up and see what he’s doing to the people, to the economy and society in general.”
Sister Maria Francis Herrera said she came to the protest “to show Canada that we are not in favor of all these lies that are going on about this coronavirus,” she told LifeSiteNews.
“We know that God is truth, the only truth,” she said. “We are a free people. We are made free, given this freedom by Almighty God to adore Him, to worship Him, to love Him. No one should deprive us of this freedom, or any kind of freedom that we were made for.”
Ford “is threatening to shut down Christmas,” Pastor Reaume told the crowd.
“I have a question for the premier of Ontario … If Christ were born in Toronto, and the three wise men came to visit, would that be an illegal gathering? Would you send the police after them like you did to that poor guy down in Etobicoke who’s serving barbecue?”
Reaume was referring to Adam Skelly, whose name came up often during the protest.
Skelly was arrested the same day around noon for refusing to vacate his restaurant, Adamson Barbeque in Etobicoke, where hundreds of his supporters had gathered, as had dozens of Toronto police, a number of them on horseback.
The 33-year-old father of two had two days earlier openly offered in-house dining in violation of COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Following his dramatic November 26 arrest, Skelly was charged with 13 criminal and non-criminal offences, including obstructing police and trespassing in connection with his entering the restaurant after city officials and Toronto police changed the locks on the front door.
Skelly was released on bail Friday after spending a night in jail, reported Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington. A GoFundMe campaign for a legal defense fund had reached almost $286,000 in donations by Monday.
Premier Doug Ford
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