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BREAKING: Protestors descend on Ontario legislature to demonstrate against shutdown

On Saturday afternoon, protestors gathered at Queen's Park in Toronto to express their frustration with what they see as overly restrictive coronavirus shutdown measures by the government.
Beth Baisch and Barrett Wilson Montreal, QC

On Saturday afternoon, citizens gathered at Queen's Park in Toronto to express their frustration with what they see as overly restrictive coronavirus shutdown measures by the government.

A protestor said "if only our 'lamestream media' treated Trudeau the way they do Trump in the United States," indicating that the Canadian media has been bought off.

Protestors chanted slogans like: "The virus is a hoax" and "Fear is the virus." The crowd has been estimated at approximately 300 people by a source on the scene.

The feeling in the crowd is that the government has gone too far in imposing incredibly restrictive measures on Canadian life, without either a decisive plan of action for economic recovery or adequate reason to restrict all activity.

The protest was announced a week ago, and despite social media platforms like Facebook taking down pages for groups that are organizing protests against their local government and the restrictions that have been imposed, it went forward.

Toronto has warned citizens that they will be fined $1,000 if they do not maintain social distancing orders.

Protests have been happening across North America as citizens chafe under the constraints of quarantine measures imposed by local and national governments. As weeks of economic and social shut downs drag on, people are demanding that these strictures be eased so that they can leave their homes, return to work, and engage in basic life activities.

At time of writing there were almost 4,500 coronavirus cases in Toronto, with active outbreaks in long-term care homes. In Ontario, there are almost 14,000 cases, over half of which have recovered. The number of deaths is 811.

Premier Doug Ford is hoping to open the province by Victoria Day. But for protesters, that can't come soon enough. Jobless claims continue to rise, and concerns for the mental health of those who are stuck at home without work or a reasonable timeline for when they can return to work, are also increasing.

Police were on the scene but no arrests were made and not fines were enforced.

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Beth Baisch and Barrett Wilson
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