B.C. anti-COVID mandate rally sees renewed support as thousands gather at legislature

Christopher Johnson, a rally attendee, helps to direct people at the B.C. legislature on March 5. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Christopher Johnson, a rally attendee, helps to direct people at the B.C. legislature on March 5. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Thousands gathered on the grounds of the B.C. legislature on March 5 for another rally opposing pandemic-related mandates. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Thousands gathered on the grounds of the B.C. legislature on March 5 for another rally opposing pandemic-related mandates. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Thousands gathered on the grounds of the B.C. legislature for another rally on March 5 opposing pandemic-related mandates. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Thousands gathered on the grounds of the B.C. legislature for another rally on March 5 opposing pandemic-related mandates. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Thousands gathered on the grounds of the B.C. legislature on March 5 for another rally opposing pandemic-related mandates. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Thousands gathered on the grounds of the B.C. legislature on March 5 for another rally opposing pandemic-related mandates. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Thousands gathered on the grounds of the B.C. legislature on March 5 for another rally opposing pandemic-related mandates. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)Thousands gathered on the grounds of the B.C. legislature on March 5 for another rally opposing pandemic-related mandates. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

The grounds of the B.C. legislature were home to another rally calling for the end of pandemic-related mandates on Saturday (March 5) – the busiest event Victoria has seen yet as thousands congregated.

Protesters held signs that read ‘what about debate?’ and ‘say no to vaccine passports.’

An organization called We Unify Canada helped to organize a substantial lineup of speakers at the Saturday event.

Anna Kindy, a physician from Campbell River who had the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, told Black Press Media before her speech that she has never seen so much division in society.

“Some people have been injured by these vaccines and don’t want to get a second one – but if they don’t get the second one, they could lose their job,” she said. “Many doctors are not losing their job due to incompetence, they’re losing their jobs for their right to choose – they’ve done an analysis of the risks versus benefits and have decided for themselves they don’t want to be vaccinated – and we should all be allowed that choice.”

A total of 80,794,153 vaccine doses have been administered in Canada as of Feb. 25, according to Health Canada. Adverse reactions have been reported by 40,011 people, which is about five out of every 10,000 people vaccinated. Of the people who reported side effects, only 8,415 were considered serious (0.010 per cent of all doses administered).

A large police presence was on scene directing the flow of traffic and the Victoria Police Department tweeted, “safe, peaceful, lawful protest is protected by the Charter. Dangerous and/or unlawful acts will be met with de-escalation and enforcement.”

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that the COVID-19 situation in B.C. is improving “rapidly” at a Tuesday (March 1) press conference.

As a result, British Columbians may see COVID-19 health orders ease by March 14.

Henry said that B.C. has noticed a trend in COVID cases declining during the warmer months when more people are outside. However, she cautioned that COVID cases could surge again in the fall.

ALSO READ: 3 new Vancouver Island care home outbreaks begin, 4 others end


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