'It's ignorance,' City officials disappointed by another rally planned in Barrie, Ont.
BARRIE, ONT. -- Ongoing anti-COVID lockdown rallies in downtown Barrie are again drawing attention from outside the region.
Saturday's 'Barrie Freedom Rally' will include speeches from independent MP Derek Sloan and former nurse Jessica Faraone.
Sloan was booted from the Conservative caucus in January after it was revealed he'd accepted a political donation from a white nationalist. Faraone recently made headlines for refusing an airport COVID-19 test and hotel quarantine, as well as expressing skepticism of COVID-19 vaccines.
People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier spoke at last week's demonstration that drew an estimated 500 people to Meridian Place.
Barrie city councillor Natalie Harris is not happy about another big gathering downtown.
"Our freedoms come with responsibilities," Harris said Friday. "We follow the law, and we do what we need to do, and if we don't, there are consequences."
Barrie Police said they would be watching but would not share how they plan to deal with the upcoming protest.
Officers wrote eight tickets at last week's gathering.
For Harris, the demonstrations are especially hard to watch while hospitals, including Barrie's Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, are overloaded with patients.
"It's ignorance, to be honest. It is factual. I've directly spoken to paramedics and other first responders and nurses that work at RVH, and they're exhausted," she said.