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Aylmer, Ont., declares state of emergency days prior to 2nd coronavirus ‘freedom march’

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The Town of Aylmer, Ont., declared a state of emergency on Monday less than a week prior to a so-called coronavirus freedom march, the second such anti-mask demonstration planned in the community.

In a statement, Mayor Mary French explained it was declared “… as a result of the potential for civil unrest and service disruptions relating to protests and demonstrations regarding COVID-19 directions, recommendations and orders set out by the Province of Ontario and Southwestern Public Health.”

Read more: Aylmer, Ont., implements mandatory mask bylaw amid spike in coronavirus cases

Aylmer police confirmed on Twitter that the declaration was in direct response to the “potential for civil unrest and service disruptions…. (at) a 2nd Anti-Masking Freedom March planned for Nov 7th”

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The first freedom march took place on Oct. 24.

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According to French’s statement, declaring a state of emergency protects volunteers, staff and elected officials.

Read more: Coronavirus: Drive-in church service in Aylmer, Ont., to proceed despite police threats of fines, roadblocks

It also assists with applying or receiving funding that may be the result of the emergency, and creates awareness about the seriousness of the circumstance.

As of Monday, Aylmer has had a total of 89 COVID-19 cases according to Southwestern Public Health.

The region has seen a total of 337 cases. Those from Aylmer represent more than a quarter of the region’s cases.

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