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Hundreds of Calgarians protest against mandatory COVID-19 restrictions

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The same day Alberta recorded its highest number of daily COVID-19 cases, a rally was held in downtown Calgary to protest government restrictions.

Hundreds of people participated in the protest Saturday afternoon as the province announced 1,731 COVID-19 cases and five new deaths connected to the virus had been reported over the past 24 hours.

Hundreds of people gather in downtown Calgary to protest mandatory COVID-19 restrictions, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. Postmedia/Jim Wells
Hundreds of people gather in downtown Calgary to protest mandatory COVID-19 restrictions, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. Postmedia/Jim Wells
Hundreds of people gather in downtown Calgary to protest mandatory COVID-19 restrictions, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. Postmedia/Jim Wells
Hundreds of people gather in downtown Calgary to protest mandatory COVID-19 restrictions, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. Postmedia/Jim Wells

READ MORE: Anti-mask rallies draw crowds in Calgary and Edmonton amid coronavirus pandemic

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The “Walk for Freedom” march started at city hall and continued on Stephen Avenue. Many of those in attendance could be seen not wearing masks.

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The demonstration went against new measures announced last Tuesday, including limiting outdoor gatherings to 10 people.

Organizers of the protest said they want fewer government restrictions.

Hundreds of people gather in downtown Calgary to protest mandatory COVID-19 restrictions, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. Postmedia/Jim Wells
Hundreds of people gather in downtown Calgary to protest mandatory COVID-19 restrictions, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. Postmedia/Jim Wells
Hundreds of people gather in downtown Calgary to protest mandatory COVID-19 restrictions, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. Postmedia/Jim Wells
Hundreds of people gather in downtown Calgary to protest mandatory COVID-19 restrictions, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. Postmedia/Jim Wells

The measures will be in effect for three weeks then re-evaluated.

“These mandatory measures will place new restrictions on social gatherings, worship services, businesses, schools and all Albertans,” Premier Jason Kenney said Tuesday.

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“We believe these are the minimum restrictions needed right now to safeguard our health-care system, while avoiding widespread damage to peoples’ livelihood.”

READ MORE: Hundreds protest COVID-19 social restrictions at Alberta legislature grounds

Calgary police said officers were on location monitoring the event and participants “are being investigated.”

“Our ticketing is strategic and will take into consideration a number of factors,” Calgary police said in a statement released Sunday.

“Although citizens may not witness the summons at the time, that does not necessarily mean we are not exploring those options.

“We know this is a difficult time right now and we will use discretion as we do in many aspects of our job.”

Calgary police is responsible for enforcing mandatory COVID-19 restrictions. The service said its public health compliance team is focusing on mass gatherings, self-isolation and quarantine and businesses who are not complying to the restrictions.

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