In a wind-swept parking lot at Sadlon Arena in Barrie on Saturday afternoon, demonstrators gathered for yet another anti-lockdown rally, and like last weekend, the protesters turned into nomads after their main venue to hold these demonstrations – at Meridian Place downtown – was fenced off by the city over a week ago.
Last Saturday, they marched from Meridian Place to Centennial Park. This time the gathering spot was Sadlon Arena, and organizers gave it the appearance of a carnival with bouncy castles, raffles, a barbecue and even young children playing hockey in the parking lot.
Randy Hillier was the guest speaker. The independent MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston told Barrie 360 he was ticketed by police before the event began.
Asked what he was ticketed for, Hillier said: “for not abiding by communism.”
Hillier is a vocal opponent of the province’s COVID-19 rules and has attended a number of anti-lockdown protests in various Ontario communities. He figures his ticket count for violating the Reopening Ontario Act is now in the range of at least ten.
Speaking with Barrie 360 prior to the demonstration, he said the provincial and federal governments have embraced a very fascist and communist-style and approach to COVID-19.
“There is one overarching message that has been clear from very early on and that is lockdowns cause far more damage, far more injury and far more harm than the virus does.”
“The lockdowns are what is putting us at risk far more than the virus,” Hillier explained.
He said Ontario can deal with this health crisis or health matter without embracing communism.
“By acting responsibly and reasonably,” Hillier said. “23 U.S. states have opened up, and all of them are showing much improved situations. But we want to continue to embrace this faulty narrative that we have.”
He suggested there was a great many people make a great amount of money off of the narrative of fear and lockdowns. Hillier did not name names, but he said these people are doing it for their own personal benefit and not for the public benefit.
Hillier said people are dying because hospitals have been told to delay surgeries. He told the story about a woman he met in Stratford last week who told him her 47-year-old husband passed away from a heart attack.
“He ended up dying in ICU, and not from COVID, but because they wouldn’t install a pacemaker.”
Hillier said there are many stories like this.
“But the media seems to be generally consumed with case numbers and the fear conference every day from Doug Ford and Justin Trudeau.”
Asked what if anything had been gained by people turning out to these anti-lockdown protests in Barrie and other cities, Hillier said there are many people who know what governments are doing is wrong.
“But because of social stigma, ridicule and because of fear of losing their pay cheque, they are living this lie and they are not speaking out against it,” he said.
“The greatest importance of these rallies is showing Canadians that there are Canadians who have courage and conviction, and they are not going to be intimidated by these unlawful measures. They are going to come out and gain more knowledge and more conviction to speak out, and regain our future and our country.”
Barrie Police later confirmed to Barrie 360 they issued four tickets that will require the individuals to attend court, and another person was written up for an $880 ticket. Police did not confirm if Hillier was one of those to receive a ticket.
Police added they identified other people in the crowd and tickets would continue to be issued in the coming days.