WATCH: Open Ontario Protest Calls for an End to COVID-19 Restrictions


A group of small business owners in Windsor-Essex organized a protest calling for an end to COVID-19 restrictions Saturday.

The "Open Ontario" protest kicked off with close to 100 people across the street from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit on the corner of Erie Street and Ouellette Avenue, but later grew to more than 200, according to CTV Windsor's Alana Hadadean.

Organizers say the Reopening Ontario Act continues, "to decimate small businesses, destroy the social and economic fabric of our communities and violate our Charter Rights."

Windsor-Essex moved into a modified Red-Control Level Saturday that will allow restaurants and bars to use 50 per cent of their seating capacity to a maximum of 50 people.

Mezzo Restaurant Owner Filip Rocca says that number should be higher.

"We just want to open up safely and we want all businesses to open up equally," he says. "We're not here to promote anti-mask or anti-vaccination, we're here to support businesses and support the community."

Protestor Al Dresser is calling for everything to reopen, claiming people should, "do their own research on the internet" rather than listen to, "so-called experts."

"We need to open back up and use some real science. We're probably already close to herd immunity because I believe a lot of people have had this for a long time," he says.

Dr. Wassim Saad is the Chief of Staff at Windsor Regional Hospital and says "herd immunity can only be achieved if 70 per cent of the population is naturally immune or vaccinated."

He says less than 10 per cent of Canadians have been vaccinated, so if thousands of people continue to contract the virus across the country each day, herd immunity is a scientific impossibility.