“I am deeply troubled to see one of my colleagues from (Niagara Regional Council – Mayor of West Lincoln Dave Bylsma – speak at the protest (this April 10th) in St. Catharines. The fact that he blatantly broke the provincial government’s Stay At Home Order is a serious breach of his elected position, and I trust that Niagara Regional Police and Public Health will act accordingly.” – St. Catharines, Ontario Mayor Walter Sendzik
A Statement from St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik on April 10th anti-lockdown protest in his city
Posted April 10th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – The anti-lockdown protest that took place in St. Catharines today does not represent the spirit or character of the majority of people in our community who have been working hard to push back against COVID-19 for the last 13 months.
While I believe in free speech, we are under Stay-At-Home orders due to the severity of the third wave that has a dangerous grip on our community. The actions of those protesting today put our community at greater risk and further cause harm to our abilities to control the transmission of COVID-19.
With our hospitals postponing surgeries, the number of patients under the age of 60 at hospitals with COVID quickly climbing and the number of people in ICU needing critical care due to COVID, now is not the time to act in a reckless way that puts you, your family and others in the community at greater risk.
Today (this Saturday April 10th), the Niagara Regional Police did their job in controlling the situation. There have been many comments about the lack of enforcement, but NRP officers were focused on crowd control and keeping the peace. I am confident that the NRP will be working with by-law enforcement to enforce regulations that were clearly broken today, in a timely manner.
Finally, I am deeply troubled to see one of my colleagues from regional council – Mayor of West Lincoln Dave Bylsma – speak at the protest today in St. Catharines. The fact that he blatantly broke the provincial government’s Stay At Home Order is a serious breach of his elected position, and I trust that NRP and Public Health will act accordingly.
Don’t allow today’s protests to deter all those people who are working hard to eradicate COVID-19 from our community. With the vaccine rollout ramping up quickly and so many people doing their part, we are getting very close to putting COVID in the rearview mirror – now is not time to let up.
A Footnote by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –
What gives with the west end of Niagara, Ontario. We’ve got these two self-described “pro-life” politicians – West Lincoln Mayor Dave Bylsma who is sending out mixed messages that place peoples’ lives at risk with his anti-mask rhetoric, and we’ve got Niagara West MPP and Ford government representative Sam Oosterhoff, with his anti-mask gathering at a popular Niagara Falls, Ontario restaurant, named Betty’s, when staff there tried asking them to please wear masks for the sake of staff and other customers?
What gives here in the west end of Niagara with these two? Has no one out there heard about the pandemic or something?
And how much more of this dangerous, irresponsible idiocy to the rest of us in this region have to take?
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large