Sunday, September 24, 2023
September 24, 2023

Freedom protest attracts crowd

Salt Spring Islanders gathered in downtown Ganges on Wednesday afternoon to protest British Columbia’s COVID-19 policy, in particular the vaccination requirement for non-essential services and entertainment venues coming into effect on Sept. 13.

Billed as an event supporting “unity, medical freedom and the right for everyone to choose,” the rally ran from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Organizers had sought to stretch a line of peaceful protest from the Beachside cafe all the way to Thrifty Foods and managed to cover at least half the distance. Many vehicles passing by showed their support by honking their horns.

Handmade signs shared statements from “resist medical coercion” and “no vaxx pass” to “Men, will you rise up to protect your kids and wives?”

The event also attracted a few counter protesters, including one young woman holding a sign stating “Vaccines work.”

A speaker at the close of the rally said the group plans to be back in town on Sept. 13. Starting that day, a provincial health order requires people aged 12 and up to have proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend places such as indoor concerts, theatre, dance and symphony events; restaurants and pubs; gyms, exercise facilities and pools; and indoor recreational classes and activities like pottery, art and choir. Post-secondary students living in on-campus housing in B.C. will also be required to be vaccinated.

Full vaccination with two doses is required for those situations by Oct. 24. The requirement is in place until Jan. 31, 2022 and could be extended.

Vaccinated residents can access their vaccine card through


  1. Thank you for the objective report on this. I want to make clear my own intention and others at this rally that it is not anti-vaccination, or anti-mask. It is simply pro-choice; my body, my health and my children’s health are my utmost concerns, and the freedom to choose the medicine I put into my body is a constitutional right that I am not willing to forego. Too many of the world’s leading doctors and scientists have been banned, silenced, and censored for many of us to trust the extremely biased message that we’ve been bombarded with on the big media channels.

  2. It appears the U.K. can afford to lift restrictions as they have almost got to the point where 100% of adults have antibodies against COVID. These mostly come from vaccinations but they also have more than 20% from prior infection. This provides the way out of the passport. They have also lost an awful lot of people to the virus. We have been more careful in B.C. and only have 1-2% who have antibodies by infection. If you choose to get your antibodies naturally just hope there is some room left in the ICU.


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