CORNWALL, Ontario – A petition has been started on Change.org asking that future so-called “freedom” marches be forced to adhere to COVID-19 regulations and that they stay away from Cornwall’s downtown core.
For a couple of months now, rallies have been held every second Saturday. Rally attendees would meet at the Eastern Ontario health Unit office at 1000 Pitt St. and then march down Pitt St. into Cornwall’s downtown.
The rallies have had roughly 100 attendees. The rally on Nov. 21 saw two organizers charged for violating provincial restrictions around public gatherings meant to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition organized by Louise Mignault states that it is interested in keeping family and friends safe and that she supports masks and social distancing. The petition goes on to ask the Cornwall Police Service to enforce gathering limits on all such marches and protests, while also asking that they be kept out of the downtown core.
“We want freedom rallies and marches rerouted out of the downtown Cornwall core to a safer area where they won’t disrupt people and businesses,” the petition reads. “We demand that those who attend these rallies and protests be mandated to supply their information for responsible contact tracing.”
The petition currently has 399 signatures, which is more than even the highest estimates of attendees for the “freedom” marches.
Despite the charges laid after the previous march, the next march is scheduled for Dec. 12.