anti mask protest

Thousands of people protesting face masks march in Montreal and Vancouver

Another day, another anti-mask protest; thousands of Canadians took to the streets over the weekend to protest against face masks becoming mandatory in certain cities.

In Montreal, a large crowd gathered outside the main gates of McGill University on Saturday before marching down to the CBC/Radio-Canada building on René-Lévesque Boulevard.

The crowd carried signs that said things such as "stop corruption." As you might expect, very few protestors wore masks.

The rally was in response to Quebec's mandatory mask policy, which came into effect in mid-July.

Under the policy, everyone over the age of 12 in Quebec is required to wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces, including public transportation. 

As of Monday, the Quebec government is following in the lead of other provinces by making face masks mandatory in school hallways this September, for students Grade 5 and older.

The anti-mask protest in Montreal comes just a few weeks after police were forced to pepper spray a Quebec resident that had a meltdown in Tim Hortons after being asked to don a face mask in accordance with the mandatory policy.

Meanwhile in Vancouver, a smaller crowd gathered on Sunday to protest against the wearing of face masks.

The crowd carried signs with slogans such as "I will never wear the mask!!" and "COVID-Scam."

Various people could also be heard chanting "no new normal."

British Columbia does not require that face masks be worn in public, but some services do; TransLink — Vancouver's public transport service — will make face masks mandatory as of Aug. 24, for example.

And it's not just Montreal and Vancouver; other Canadian cities with mandatory face mask policies are experiencing push-back from some residents.

"This guy at the Starbucks I was in today refused to put on a mask so they would not take his order," one Calgary resident wrote. "They even gave him a mask, he tossed it aside and left. Masks are mandatory here in Calgary."

Face masks have been proven to be effective against COVID-19 by preventing respiratory droplets from spreading, per the results of multiple studies.

Canadian health officials continue to recommend the use of face masks in combination with physical distancing, hand washing, and good personal hygiene.

Lead photo by

Dominic Apold

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