Ontario Premier Doug Ford lashes out at 'buffoons' protesting COVID-19 restrictions at his home

Premier Doug Ford lashed out Friday at a group of people who continue to stage loud protests at his house over COVID-19 restrictions.

Speaking at a news conference Friday, Ford said the protests typically take place when he’s not home and most greatly impact his neighbours.

“It doesn't affect me, I'm not there,” Ford said. “I have the best neighbours anyone could ever ask for. They didn't sign up for this, they aren't making decisions for the government, it is totally unfair. It's unacceptable that they have to put up with this because they're living beside the premier.”

The premier’s suburban home in Etobicoke has frequently been the site of protests. However over the past week they have grown louder and more persistent as people take aim at COVID-19 restrictions.

“You want to protest me, come down to Queen’s Park,” Ford said. "You can do cartwheels, you can jump up and down. But there's an unwritten rule here in Canada, an unwritten rule you don't go after people's families and neighbours. Come after me, don’t come after my neighbours.

“I want to sincerely apologize to my neighbours that you have to go through this every single day.”

Crowds of people did gather at Queen’s Park Thursday to protest the lockdown. A large crowd of people also attended a protest at an Etobicoke restaurant shut down for flagrantly opening in violation of public health orders. After the restauranteur was arrested, many of his supporters then made their way to Ford’s home to continue protesting.

Toronto and Peel Region are currently under a lockdown in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus while much of the rest of the GTA is in the “ red zone.”

Ford has sympathized with affected small businesses, but has said the province needs to get the virus under control to avoid a more severe health care crisis.

He said the protests won’t change his mind and cast doubt on whether any of the protesters are in fact small business owners who are suffering.

“I can assure you another thing; that's not small business owners that are protesting in front of my house,” Ford said. “They’re special interest groups, political groups. It's unacceptable and stop acting like a bunch of buffoons out there and start respecting the people of Ontario.”