The Comox Valley RCMP says it’s going to keep watch on an apparent anti-mask rally in Courtenay.
Posters have been put up around the city, saying that it’s supposedly happening Saturday at the Driftwood Mall parking lot.
They show a picture of a cartoon sheep wearing a mask and claims about the virus’s “99 percent recovery rate”, and “a virus so ‘deadly’ you have to get a test” to know if you are positive.
It also questions lockdowns and masks and claims that “this isn’t about a virus… it’s about control. Wake up.”
The posters don’t include organizers, online, or contact information.
Comox Valley RCMP Const. Monika Terragni says police are aware of the rally and will be monitoring it – if it happens.
“We’ll be working to make sure it’s a peaceful protest and there are no problems in the area.”
Terragni says when it comes to enforcement, the RCMP will take a wait-and-see approach.
“It’s certainly a possibility that we’ll consider, but at this point, since it hasn’t happened (yet), we’ll have to assess that at the time that it’s occurring.”
(Anyone who organizes large, unsafe gatherings or ignores provincial health orders relating to mass gatherings can be issued a fine up to $2,000).
The province announced earlier this week that people can now be fined $230 if they are found to not be wearing a mask while in indoor public spaces.
Last week, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry made masks mandatory inside those public spaces for people 12 years and older.
Those who cannot wear a mask or cannot put on or remove one without assistance are exempt.
You now have to wear masks in:
- malls, shopping centres, coffee shops, and retail and grocery stores;
- liquor and drug stores;
- airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres;
- restaurants, pubs and bars;
- places of public worship;
- on public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle;
- common areas of office buildings, court houses, hospitals and hotels;
- common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity; and
- common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations.
The new measures have been implemented under the province’s Emergency Program Act.
Violation tickets can be issued by:
- police officers,
- community safety unit members,
- liquor and cannabis inspectors,
- gaming inspectors, and
- conservation officers.
Learn more about how tickets will be given out by clicking here.