Despite Kenney’s warning, anti-maskers promise bigger protests

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The organizer also said that the protesters would seek social distance, but added that “there is a lack of viability … considering the expected participation”.

Kenney’s suggestion that protesters trust online or written tactics has been rejected as less effective than more visible demonstrations.

The group’s statement also said that a speaker at the Calgary rally would be the head of the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedom (JCCF), John Carpay, whose group says it is launching a constitutional challenge against Alberta’s COVID-19 restrictions.

JCCF and protesters say the restrictions – which also include strict limits on participation in funerals, weddings and places of worship, while requiring masks to be worn in public spaces in Edmonton and Calgary – unnecessarily infringe on civil liberties.

With 590 COVID-19 deaths now reported in Alberta and a positive test rate exceeding a 10 percent “dark mark”, Alberta’s chief medical officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, begged residents to stay home or maintain social distance this weekend.

“By bending the curve and not the rules, you’re saving someone from watching a loved one’s battle against COVID-19,” she said on Friday.

Those representing registered nurses in Alberta conveyed a similar message, saying that overworked health workers are afraid of what is to come as infections increase.

“Please don’t go out this weekend. Think about yourself, your family and neighbors, and the ability of your healthcare professionals to care for Albertans who are already sick with COVID-19 as the shortage of staff becomes more serious. ”Said United Nurses of Alberta President Heather Smith on Friday

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On Thursday, city statute and police chiefs said the issuing of fines would continue if protests were resumed.

“There is a segment of the population that doesn’t care about following the rules, so we have to take it seriously,” said Calgary police chief Mark Neufeld.

He also said he was confident that concerns about the crowd caused by fights and lack of social distance at Chinook Center shopping center a week ago will not occur again.

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on Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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