Hundreds of people have gathered on the front lawn of the B.C. legislature Saturday protesting government mandates introduced during the pandemic.
Many were holding signs with messages like “freedom not fear” and “silence is compliance so use your voice for pro-choice.”
The rally was organized by the B.C. Businesses Against Health Pass Facebook group.
A poster said the rally in downtown Victoria was the endpoint for a drive that started earlier in the day in Mill Bay and is part of the broader World Wide Rally for Freedom.
Organizer of the event and construction company owner Mike Slemko said that the convoy received support the whole way through.
“I know I speak on behalf of the construction industry and trades workers, and I don’t know a single one who is behind these mandates,” he said. “Construction workers are behind the truckers – we are going to stop this country until it is ours again and we are all free.”
A Friday (Jan. 21) announcement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry indicated a shift in B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Henry said that contact tracing is no longer effective and the province is treating COVID more like the common cold.
“We cannot limit all risk, it is part of what we will be living with. We can use all the layers of protection,” she said, such as following public health guidance, getting vaccinated, and utilizing the vaccine card program when managing risks.
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