Dozens of people showed up at a rally in Moncton to protest COVID-19 restrictions and a mandatory mask-wearing order.
The use of masks in most indoor public places became mandatory on Friday as the province works to combat a recent growth in cases this week.
The protestors who gathered on Saturday argued that citizens should not follow mandatory masking orders.
This is despite the medical consensus from Health Canada and the World Health Organization that wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can “reduce the spread” of infectious respiratory droplets.
The province has seen its number of cases skyrocket this week, with 52 new cases reported since Wednesday.
New Brunswick reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the largest single-day increase in cases in the province since the pandemic began.
Chris Saccoccia, a Toronto-based anti-mask activist who also goes by Chris Sky, allegedly planned to attend the Moncton event but was turned away at the Moncton airport.
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On Friday night, he posted on Facebook:
“Shout out to the RCMP for safely escorting me back to Toronto! I will be at Dundas Square SAT Oct 10 12pm! I will also be speaking via live stream to our friends in Moncton, New Brunswick!”
Earlier this week, Saccoccia, 37 and his wife, 34-year-old Jennifer Saccoccia, were charged with violating the federal Quarantine Act.
Police said both were ordered to quarantine for 14 days when they returned to Toronto after travelling abroad.
But on Oct. 3, police said the man and the woman were seen at a 500-person, anti-mask-wearing rally at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto.
Violating federal public health guidelines carries a $1,000 fine.
According to a flyer for the Moncton event that circulated on social media earlier this week, the event was organized by Jennifer Saccoccia.
Global News has reached out to Canada Border Service Agency and New Brunswick RCMP.
— With files from Jessica Patton