Frigid weather didn’t deter a few dozen people from protesting in Bradford on Sunday.
More than 30 people waved signs and placards at the corner of West Park Avenue and Holland Street between 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Bracing against the wind in the minus 12 degrees Celsius weather, Suzette Crimi was pleased at the turn out and the response from traffic on the busy intersection.
“There were about 30 to 50 people there – I think maybe the cold keeps people away too,” Crimi said. “I can’t feel my toes or my fingers anymore. If it was not as cold maybe you’d get a better turn out.”
Crimi said the show of support from drivers was heart-warming.
“A lot of the honks were for us. There was actually one van who made maybe six laps – she kept coming around and she just railed on the horn every time. I think there was another SUV who went by did the same thing. There was a few people flipped us the finger, called us crazy that sort of thing. We’re just here to get people to see what’s happening.”
Crimi’s main concern with COVID-19 restrictions is the province's shutdown of schools and how it affects her children.
“I don’t agree with the lockdown. I fight for my children. I want to leave the country the way it should be for my kids to grow up free. I think it’s been really hurting them mentally and wearing the masks and they can’t grow up like this, it’s just wrong. So hands off my kids.
They should be allowed to go to school – 100 per cent without a mask on. We should all be able to take off our masks.”
Crimi said she lost her job as an in-home care worker after having worked with a Toronto firm for 17 years.
“I lost my job because of my beliefs,” she said.
Crimi believes COVID is now as commonplace as the flu and people should be able to choose to get vaccinated annually, much as they do with the flu shot.
Bundled up warmly against the bitter cold, sisters Rachael and Samantha Gomez attended the protest to fight for their right to be unvaccinated and attend movies, gyms, dinners and travel.
“We should be able to hop on a plane and go wherever we want, we shouldn’t be stuck here if we want to travel – we want to see our grandparents in South America,” Rachael said.
Her sister Samantha wants to see a choice for parents whether they get their children vaccinated or not. She, too, was asked to leave her job at a car dealership because she refused to vaccinate against COVID.
“Meanwhile, the vaccinated, they can also catch COVID and spread it, so what’s the difference here? I want pro-choice for us and our children so they don’t have to wear masks. And no to the vaccine if parents don’t want the vaccine for their children,” she said.