Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said anti-lockdown protests are prolonging the duration of the restrictive public health measures and the coronavirus pandemic itself.
“Unfortunately, some people are still choosing to join large gatherings or even go out of their way to protest public health measures and disrupt vaccine appointments”, Trudeau told reporters. “These protests are supposed to be about getting back to normal but by spreading the virus, they do just the opposite and prolong lockdowns”.
The prime minister used the opportunity to again urge Canadians to follow public health guidelines.
Trudeau’s statement is a reversal of the longstanding policy by top officials and mainstream media outlets to largely ignore the protests.
Canadian anti-lockdown activists have taken to the streets in cities including, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary most weekends since the summer of 2020, to protest against restrictions that organizers say are crippling businesses and undermining civil liberties.