More than 100 gather at Alberta Legislature grounds in defiance of provincial gathering regulations

New restrictions meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 were ignored on the grounds of the Alberta Legislature on Saturday.

A day after new provincial measures limiting indoor and outdoor gathering sizes, more than 100 people attended an anti-mask rally.

They showed up at 1 p.m. as they’ve done so many Saturdays since the pandemic was declared. This time, they were breaking the law. Outdoor public gatherings in Alberta have been limited to a maximum of 10 people.

A man identifying himself as Steve said being at a big protest or wearing a mask should be a choice. He was expecting a backlash from authorities.

“I’m sure somebody’s going to get a ticket. I’m sure they will because unfortunately, that’s the state of society. We deem that giving out fines and penalizing people for expressing their freedom of choice is something we have to do.”

Members of the group handed out red armbands in support of Christmas celebrations, and literature about their beliefs.

By about 2 p.m., about 150 people had gathered, while a handful of sheriffs stood by on the perimeter.

A CTV News Edmonton reporter asked sheriffs if any tickets were written, but was told they were only on hand to keep the peace.  

Similar rallies were also held in Red Deer and Calgary on Saturday.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk.