Hundreds of Quebecers took to the streets of Montreal's Old Port on Saturday to protest against COVID-19 health measures intended to slow the spread of the virus, particularly the return of curfew as well as the expansion of the vaccination passport.
Most of the demonstrators were maskless and did not respect physical distancing rules. Many waved flags and posters denouncing the health measures put in place by the provincial government, including the eventual requirement to have received a third dose of the vaccine to be considered fully vaccinated.
"We are here today because we know that enough is enough, and we want our rights and freedoms back," said Maxime Bernier, leader of the federal People's Party of Canada in a Twitter video. He attended the protest and called for an end to the 10 p.m. curfew and to vaccination mandates.
"There is no convincing case for compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations," he said in a Tweet. "Mandatory vaccine policies are a blunt tool aimed at covering up government ineptitude."
The protest came as Quebec reported 2,296 people in hospital, an increase of 163 from the previous day, and 44 new deaths on Saturday.
Some 15,928 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded, but that number represents only those that were reported to the Quebec government and do not account for the limited availability of PCR tests or the use of home testing kits.
Montreal police said no arrests were made and no tickets were handed out at the protest.