Ontario Premier Doug Ford slammed a group of people protesting coronavirus-related restrictions outside Queen’s Park on Saturday, calling them a “bunch of yahoos.”
Dozens of protesters gathered outside of the legislature demanding an easing of restrictions that officials have implemented in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“It’s reckless to do what they’re doing and personally I think it’s selfish,” Ford said.
“We have health-care workers down the street at these hospitals working around the clock to protect the community.”
Ford said the vast majority of Ontarians understand the restrictions and have worked collectively to reduce spread.
“But then we have a bunch of yahoos out in the front of Queen’s Park sitting there protesting that the place isn’t open,” Ford said.
“I understand that people want to get out there, but we have to be responsible. We have to make sure — we’ve come such a long way — that we protect the health and the well being of every single person in this province.”
Ford said on Friday that his government would be releasing its reopening plan next week.
Ford said the protesters are “breaking the law” and that it would be up to the police to enforce laws.
Currently in Ontario, gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.
The City of Toronto has also implemented physical distancing bylaws, including prohibiting people who do not live together from being within two metres of each other in city parks and squares.
Despite the rules, a Toronto police spokesperson told Global News no tickets were issued at the protest.
“There were no arrests and tickets. (The) crowd was compliant … practised good social distancing when informed to do so,” Meaghan Gray said.
Coronavirus outbreak: Dozens gather outside Ontario legislature to protest COVID-19 measures
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