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Bonnyville protestors march against mandates and masks

Bonnyville saw the #letusbreathe walkout walk through the main street of Bonnyville.

This peaceful protest was started in Drayton valley with a call to the rest of Alberta to join in.

The walkout started at 12:20 p.m. on February 4th and started marching around 12:40.

Supporters of the protest started outside Bonnyville Centralized High School with signs and were accompanied by multiple vehicles honking their horns.

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The walkout got a lot of support on social media with many people sharing their opinions.

Craig is one of the people who showed support online and said they feel mandates do more harm than good.

“Our present situation is proving that covid will run rampant no matter what steps we take. And it’s also proving that it’s manageable. Having just gotten over covid while being double vaccinated, I can attest that it is real, as real as any other flu or cold.”

“I feel at this point there can be no middle ground, the mandates must end, and those that still wish to social distance, wear masks or anything else, should continue to do so while allowing the rest of society to move on.

Craig says with the mandates in place his kids have had a rough last 2 years.

“As a father of 3 students, I can say 100% it has affected their learning, morale, mental health, physical health and sees zero positive benefits. A lot of children will learn to read by watching mouths sound out words. It’s impossible to see under a mask and nearly impossible to hear those words.”

Finally, Craigmentioned people have been lumped into segregated groups in anti-vaxers and pro-vaxers.

“Most people labeled as anti-vax just want more data on the covid vaccines, or have decided that the covid vaccine isn’t right for them, but are up to date on all the main vaccination shots.”

Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney posted a video on Twitter saying early this week the Covid Cabinet Committee will approve a plan for the careful lifting of public health measures starting with the Restriction Exemption Program.

The Premier said the REP was introduced reluctantly during the Delta wave in September when Alberta was hit the hardest. He says the program has led to a massive increase in Alberta’s vaccination rate which has saved many lives.

“The Restriction Exemption Program has done its job, but the reality is with the Omicron wave, we have seen the power of vaccines to reduce transmission and infection against this highly transmissible variant has declined significantly.”

Kenny says this is in part to the fact most people got their latest shot last summer.

“As Covid changes, our response to it must change as well. And that is why early next week, Alberta will announce a firm date to end the REP and to do so in the very near future.”

Kenney continued and said Alberta will lay out a simple phased plan to remove almost all public health restrictions later this month as long as pressure counties to let up for hospitals.

Even with the programs starting to lift, the Alberta Government is asking everyone to get vaccinated and get their booster shot as Kenny says it is “the single best thing you can do to help us open quickly, to stay open, and to keep yourself safe.”

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