Hundreds of Manitoba gathered in Steinbach recently to protest the imposition of government restrictions on their personal freedom in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is interesting that they chose Steinbach, because at the time it had the highest per capita rate of active Covid-19 cases in all of Canada. At the same time our hospital was completely filled. Basically people brought to the hospital could not be taken in because there was no room for them until someone died. Some patients were sent to a major hospital in Winnipeg. Others had to helicoptered to Brandon a city about 3 &1/2 hours by car.
Yet, in violation of Manitoba Heath orders, a large crowd gathered at Steinbach’s A.D. Penner Park and most of them, by a wide majority, did not wear masks nor maintain social distance from each other. As a result some of them were ticketed for violating provincial health orders. Meanwhile loudspeakers played hymns and Christian songs, proving once again that you don’t need science or health orders if you are on the side of the angels and can read conspiracy theories on the Internet. The event was covered by national media.
Here is what CTV News reported one of those in attendance saying,
“Each person here in this country is so incredibly important, and I have nothing but compassion for everybody here, regardless of what side you are on, regardless of your beliefs,” said Kayla, one of the attendees at the rally.
“What we’re seeing here is people gathering from all different races, nationalities, backgrounds, careers and they all just want one thing, and that is freedom.”
For some reason the protesters believe being required to wear a mask so that other people are protected is a horrendous infringement on their freedom. Why do they not oppose the law that prevents them from driving 90km in a School zone? Don’t they have a God-given right to drive any speed they want? How about the law that prevents them from walking into other people’s homes and stealing their money? How about the law that requires food to be checked for safety before it is sold to the public? These are all laws that prevent us from doing whatever we want. No one in Canada has the right to do whatever they want.
Some of the protesters heaped abuse on Health officials trying to enforce health orders. Some suggested the officials go to the devil. Conservative Christians were photographed holding up signs demanding religious freedom.
Lewis Weiss the Reeve from the nearby Rural Municipality of Labroquerie made another comment that demonstrated he has learned about conspiracies when he commented,
“It seems very strange that our loved ones are being allowed to die when there are medicines available that very quickly and easily can cure this.”
Clearly, he is another political leader who is closely tethered to conspiracy theories rather than science or just plain truth. I guess we are just as good at this as our American neighbours.