Anti-lockdown protest marches through downtown Ottawa

Ottawa police estimated approximately 500 people marched in an anti-lockdown protest in the nation’s capital Saturday afternoon.

Police estimate 500 people in attendance

People march through the ByWard Market in downtown Ottawa during a rally against COVID-19 lockdown measures on May 15, 2021. ( Jeremie Bergeron/Radio-Canada)

Hundreds of people marched through downtown Ottawa Saturday afternoon, shouting slogans and waving signs as part of a rally against the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.

Videos of the rally showed people yelling phrases like "No more lockdowns!" and "Freedom!" with signs brandishing such slogans as "We are all essential" and "Freedom over fear."

According to police, about 500 protesters took part. While motorists may have experienced some disruptions, roads were not closed, police said.

The protest comes as Ontario has extended its stay-at-home order in an attempt to get COVID-19 levels under control.

Ottawa's health officials reported 95 cases on Saturday, with many of the city's key COVID-19 indicators well above the red zone threshold on the province's colour-coded pandemic scale. 

The rally also comes after the Nova Scotia government was granted an injunction that will put a stop to all anti-vaccine and anti-public health order protests there, including an anti-mask rally that was planned for Saturday in Halifax.

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