The day indoor mask use became mandatory in three Saskatchewan cities, dozens of anti-maskers protested the rule along Albert Street.
The protestors gathered outside the T.C. Douglas building which is the location of Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab’s office.
Protestors held signs that expressed their views and several people slowed down or stopped to cheer or honk, and some expressed their disagreement with the protest.
None of the protestors were willing to speak to CTV News on the record. They did provide additional details off-camera.
One protester said they did not want to be shown on television out of fear of threats they allege some have received. The group planned to go to the RCMP following the rally to report the allegations.
One woman said a loved one in her family has asthma, and she believes mask users breath in their own carbon dioxide and a mask is unsafe to wear. Researchers at the University of Miami dispelled claims that wearing a face mask can increase a person’s carbon dioxide levels.
Health Canada recommends mask use to slow the spread of COVID-19. On its website it said it makes recommendations based on a number of factors, including rates of infection or transmission in the community.
The rally came on the same day the NDP said there should be consideration of extending the mandatory mask indoors order to other areas of the province outside of Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert.
"What about Shellbrooke where the premier is from and where we have got one of the worst outbreaks in the country right now. What we need is clear evidence based action. If there are going to be places where it doesn't apply we need to know why, and not just say 'these are the big cities that's what seems to be the thing to do,' we need clear answers." NDP Leader Ryan Meili said.
Premier Scott Moe said in a statement "Mr. Meili’s allegations are irresponsible and false. Our government has consistently acted on the advice of public health officials throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,”
“Our government will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our families remain safe and our economy remains open by continuing to act on the advice of Dr. Shahab and Saskatchewan's dedicated public health officials.”
The anti-mask protestors plan to rally in Regina every weekend against the mandatory mask rule.