The anti-masks continued to be talked about over the weekend. The supporters of this movement, whether or not they are affiliated with more formal groups, among others demonstrated in front of what they believed to be the personal residence of François Legault, participated in a mass in the Saint-Michel district and called for demonstrate in hospitals.
Sunday, in Montreal, Pastor Carlos Norbal held his Sunday mass wearing a “Freedom for all” t-shirt. In recent weeks, the New Creation Church has become the haunt of personalities from the anti-mask movement.
Mr. Norbal’s sermons are broadcast live over the Internet. They attract far more than the 25 people allowed by law in places of worship. It is difficult to determine if this is the case with all of the worshipers, but none of the people visible on camera are wearing the mask.
Outside, a car from the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) is parked nearby. Several small groups of faithful kiss and shake hands, saying “see you next week”.
“I’ve been looking for tickets at all costs for three months. I am not capable of having one, ”exclaimed André Pitre as he left the church. The sermons of the New Creation church are broadcast among others on the YouTube page of the Stu-dio, belonging to André Pitre. The production is also ensured by a company of Mr. Pitre, Lux Média.
“I was not a church person, I am a person who believes in love, who believes in sharing,” said Jonathan Blanchette, who says he is part of the church association. “This is my second time here. We come to seek love and comfort. ”
Mr. Blanchette was arrested last summer for disturbing the peace after showing up without a mask at a Walmart store in the Saint-Hyacinthe region. He pleaded not guilty.
The SPVM police did not intervene to disperse the crowds, both inside and outside.
At the level of religious gatherings, there are some recent questions that have been submitted to Public Health concerning the limits of the application of the decree. [d’imposition de mesures sanitaires]. We are waiting for a positioning of [la Santé publique].
Véronique Comtois, head of media relations at the SPVM
The SPVM officers on site drew up a report on the incident which will be submitted to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions.
Church officials declined to interview Press.
Events in Quebec and Montreal
About fifteen people gathered on Sunday to demonstrate in front of what they believed to be the private residence of Prime Minister François Legault in Montreal.
“We have to talk to you, we have experts to make you hear. We are not conspirators, we are not just anybody. We are people who want to be heard, we have diplomas, ”chanted a protester in front of the TVA cameras.
At the end of the day, Prime Minister François Legault indicated on Twitter that the targeted house was not his, and that the demonstrators had the wrong neighborhood.
On Saturday, the Quebec City Police Service (SPVQ) issued 34 statements of offense to anti-health measures protesters who had met in front of the National Assembly.
The participants of the “Convoy of the union for freedom”, a motorized demonstration on the highways of Quebec, met on Parliament Hill in the early afternoon on Saturday, for a demonstration which lasted several hours.
On social networks, activists have posted videos in which it is observed that the demonstrators did not wear masks and did not respect physical distancing measures.
On the contrary, videos show anti-mask activists shaking hands or kissing each other.
Strong reactions on social networks
It is still on social networks that the reactions are strongest in the face of these movements. A Facebook post of a photo showing a dinner where family members flip the middle finger circulated widely on Sunday afternoon with the headline “Send our sincere greetings to Arruda governments (sic) “.
The photo, which some have described on social media as a dinner in Beauce, actually shows a meal of Thanksgiving taking place in California last Thursday, where the family lashed out at the state’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.
A video that has been circulating since Thursday on social networks also calls for demonstrating without a mask in hospitals. The author of the video claims to have been to mass at the New Creation Church on Sunday.
– With The Canadian Press and Tristan Péloquin, Press