Mayor of town in Ontario declares ‘state of emergency’ in response to anti-lockdown event
AYLMER, Ontario, November 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Mayor of an Ontario town has declared a state of emergency ahead of a planned anti-mask “Freedom March” slated to be held tomorrow because she believes the protest could potentially bring “civil unrest.”
On November 2, Mayor Mary French of Aylmer, Ontario, announced a state of emergency filed under the Ontario Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
“The Town of Aylmer declared a State of Emergency as a result of the potential for civil unrest and service disruptions relating to protests and demonstrations regarding COVID-19 directions, recommendations and orders set out by the Province of Ontario and Southwestern Public Health,” French’s statement read.
Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, an emergency is defined as “a situation, or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise.”
The planned “Freedom March” will take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, November 7 and is the second such event to be held by the group, which is protesting coronavirus lockdown measures, mandatory mask-wearing and the potential for forced vaccinations.
Event organizer Kimberly Neudorf (pictured) said on Facebook earlier in the week that the “Lawful Public Freedom March (Peaceful Protest) event” is still a go despite the town’s emergency orders and says the town does not “stand” for people’s right to protest.
“It’s unfortunate that so many people may block our ability to speak and fill the parking lot and not give us our space to speak. I’m certain that’s why we’re in the mess we are in at this moment in time as unless someone agrees with you 100 percent you are not allowed to say your piece and face censorship, hate, and alienation,” wrote Neudorf.
“In my town of Aylmer, Ontario, our small government does not listen to you or work with you unless you are 100 percent in agreement with their stance. They do not stand for our most basic right of a peaceful protest. What we are doing is the foundation of a free society — it is the ability to speak our minds even when we don’t all think alike, and to hold government accountable, even if that calls for our civil disobedience.”
Henry Hildebrand, pastor of the Church of God in Alymer, blasted the town’s emergency order in a YouTube video, saying every Canadian must stand and defend their constitutional freedoms.
“Every single Canadian citizen and that includes the Aylmer residence we have a constitutional biblical freedom that we may stand on the street corner and say my opinion is this and I am expressing it that is our God-given constitutional freedom in Canada, and this is crucial, this is what we’ve been saying for the past months, people don’t let these freedom slip, don’t let it slip,” said Hildebrand in his video message posted a day after the emergency order was given.
“It is very concerning if our mayor is more concerned about the reputation of the town, more concerned about that it goes peaceful than concerned about upholding our God-given constitutional freedom. May God help us we would stand on it looking forward to Saturday. God bless you.”
In the spring, Aylmer Police said The Aylmer Church of God congregants would “be held accountable” for taking part in a Sunday drive-in service that allegedly broke coronavirus gathering restrictions in place at the time.
Aylmer Police decided against pressing charges, but The Church of God filed a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge against the Ontario government in court with the help of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.
The first “Freedom March” was held October 24, with hundreds attending the event. The protest was quickly blasted by local health officials as “dangerous” due to the “lack of” social distancing by participants along with the fact most were not wearing masks.
Ontario’s coronavirus restrictions allow for a maximum of 25 people to gather outdoors. Aylmer Police were on site for the October 24 protest but did not issue any fines.
According to the Aylmer police department, the town’s emergency declaration is needed in the event of potential “service disruptions” by the anti-mask protestors.
“Town of Aylmer declares State of Emergency. This action has been taken in direct response to a 2nd Anti-Masking Freedom March planned for Nov 7th. The potential for civil unrest and service disruptions, has prompted this response,” read the Twitter message posted November 2.
“This is a peaceful protest. A family friendly lawful public march,“ Neudorf said in her Facebook post earlier this week confirming the event will go ahead.
“We deserve to have our voices heard and I would kindly suggest that the rest of this town and those from the surrounding areas are welcoming, kind, and ‘Canadian’ by supporting free speech and the right of peaceful protest.”