Saskatoon dad or mum says she’s extra frightened of anti-maskers than COVID-19

A mother from Saskatoon is now more afraid of anti-maskers than of COVID-19, she told Global News.

Kaitlyn Hofstra said she doesn’t understand why police in Saskatchewan’s two capitals were handing out so few tickets to those protesting public health orders.

Around 100 people met in Saskatoon last weekend – around half of them children – and around 60 also in Regina. The day before, the Saskatchewan Health Department (SHA) issued a COVID-19 exposure alert for an anti-masking event held in Prince Albert asking everyone who was there to self-isolate. One participant said they took part in both.

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Hofstra said she was concerned about her child’s safety as the children may have been exposed to the disease at the event and it could have spread it through schools and day care centers.

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She also said she was worried about her wife.

“The fear is that (the anti-maskers) will just grow and become more powerful and we will be insecure.”

She told Global News that she deleted her social media accounts a few days earlier because the comments she saw from Anti-Maskers related to more than just the pandemic.

She said she believed her actions and demonstrations refuted something more sinister.

“It’s 100 percent power,” she said, adding that she was scared because it looked like “nothing is being done to stop these people.”

“These are the same people who posted, ‘Why isn’t there straight pride?’ A month ago? They posted anti-immigrant things.

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4 tickets sold during the protest against the public health order in Regina. were issued

She said she was frustrated that she couldn’t visit her parents last Christmas, but the police appear to allow events where people are not wearing masks, have adequate physical distance, and do not adhere to boundaries.

Patrick Maze, president of the Saskatoon Teachers’ Federation, said he was extremely frustrated with the rallies because, “We know that hospitals are filling up particularly in the Regina area and southern Saskatchewan.”

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He said the events where people potentially exposed to COVID-19 were around children put everyone at risk as the disease could spread through schools.

“We cannot guarantee that all students are safe,” he said.

“Some of her fellow students could have attended the rally and sat next to them at school.”

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He said the public must rely on the judicial system and the police to hold people accountable for their “irresponsible” actions.

He also renewed his call to schools in the Saskatoon area to move to online learning.

Global News spoke to Mark Friesen on the phone, who was at the Prince Albert and Saskatoon events.

He said he was not concerned about the spread of the disease and called the asymptomatic spread “a fallacy” – which directly contradicts science.

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He said he had attended rallies in the past, sometimes with thousands of people, and no one got sick.

The SHA-COVID-19 warning for the Prince Albert event states: “There is an increased risk of exposure … if a person or persons were present while they were infectious …”

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Friesen said he had never encountered bigotry at the rallies.

Saskatchewan’s Prime Minister Scott Moe and opposition leader Ryan Meili both condemned the racist language used at a December 12 rally in Regina attended by Frisians.

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“I think people hope and will see the organizers held accountable,” Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark told Global News Morning.

He said he was happy to see the event was much smaller than previous rallies, but said he was also frustrated when people gather without masks “when we spread these (worrying) varieties in our community and health infect our citizens ”.

A spokesman for the Regina Police Service (RPS) called the attention “appropriate” in a statement.

Elizabeth Popowich said the officers had issued four tickets and are still investigating with the SHA.

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“It is possible that more tickets will be issued, but we don’t know that yet,” she said.

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She also wrote that handing out a ticket “is not as easy as handing out papers such as flyers” because it requires the personal details of the intended recipient.

“As you can imagine, people at these rallies do not offer this information, nor do they line up to give it to our officers. We’re not there to make the situation worse, and it could get worse, to step in and start laying hands on people in an emotionally charged environment. “

“Another consideration to get this close is: some of the participants may shed the COVID virus and then expose more people to the virus, including officials there,” the statement said.

She told Global News that Regina police chose to focus on the organizers of the events.

The Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) did not respond to a request for comment in a timely manner.

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On the Friday before the anti-masking event, the SPS released a statement saying officials would attend to make sure it is peaceful and public health restrictions are being enforced.

“The police’s response to a protest is a balance between protecting people’s right to express their opinion in a safe and peaceful manner while ensuring the general safety of the community as a whole,” it said.

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It also said the police have issued 25 tickets for health violation violations since the pandemic began.

When asked about Hofstra’s concerns, Saskatchewan Health Secretary Paul Merriman simply said he would leave the investigation to the police.

He also said that this is not the time for anti-mask demonstrations and warned that they could lead to outbreaks.

“We have seen many times during this (pandemic) that one bad situation can lead to multiple cases that can lead to dozens of cases.”

A spokesman for the Saskatoon Public School Department wrote in an email: “Our school department continues to accept instructions from local health authorities with whom we are in regular contact regarding our pandemic response.

“We are not currently planning to move to level 4 in the entire division.”

A spokesman for the department of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School said the department was aware of the event over the weekend.

“Health officials remind us that the protocols we put in place created many layers of protection to mitigate and reduce risk,” Derrick Kuntz wrote.

“At the time of writing this answer, we have no indication that the risk for students or employees increases significantly, which would warrant a switch to online learning.”

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2020 Saskatchewan elections: Meili criticizes Moe for failing to comment on the anti-mask movement

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