This is the position of the Northern Freedom Alliance regarding an incident that occured at the North Bay Mall on Saturday August 7th, just after 3pm. The incident involved a dispute over the mask exemption laws between several people associated with our group, employees of the store Treasure Hunt, and a McLaren Security guard.
After our regularly scheduled rally at Lee Park, a group of approximately 15 -18 people who had attended the rally went to the North Bay Mall to shop. Most of these people were over 50 and were women. This was not a protest organised by the Northern Freedom Alliance, the individuals involved acted of their own volition.
Employees of the Treasure Hunt instigated the situation by refusing to provide service to individuals who had legitimate mask exemptions, which is against the law. The list of mask exemptions can be found on the North Bay Health Unit Site.
We believe that store owners in Ontario have a responsibility not to discriminate against those with mask exemptions. However many stores, such as the Treasure Hunt, refuse to follow the health units guidelines with regards to these exemptions. There is currently no recourse in Ontario for those who are unfairly discriminated against by store owners.
The constitutional lawyer Rocco Gallatti and the Constitutional Rights Law Centre has offered his qualified legal opinion as to whether the trespass act can be used to discriminate against those with mask exemptions.
The shoppers believe they were exercising their legal rights by refusing to leave the store.
The incident was then escalated by a McLaren security guard who was verbally and physically intimidating to the shoppers. The security guard then called 911 and based on his exaggerated assessment of the situation, the North Bay Police responded with 9 police officers and 8 police cars.
None of the individuals involved used the washroom facilities at the store, nor did they damage to the premises. None of the people present have any prior trespassing charges.
Several onlookers who were not involved in the incident at all were also told that they were banned for 1 year from the North Bay Mall.
We also feel that the reporting on this incident, and our rallies in general, has been done in a way that deliberately misleads the public about our intentions as a group and avoids dealing with important issues around medical ethics and freedom.
As the following screen capture shows, local reporters often twist our words and take things out of context when creating their news stories.
Both the North Bay Nugget and BayToday have made a point of ignoring important issues about medical ethics and personal liberty while promoting false narratives based on hysteria and faulty science.