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The town of Aylmer, Ont., has declared a state of emergency ahead of a planned protest against COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday.

Mayor Mary French moved the town of nearly 7,500 people to high alert on Monday afternoon.

Aylmer police said the step was taken in anticipation of an “anti-masking freedom march.”

The declaration was made as a result of the potential for civil unrest and service disruptions related to the planned protests and demonstrations.

Ms. French said in a statement to the town that the state of emergency conveys the seriousness of the situation and will help the municipality access funding.

She also pointed out that it may help residents with insurance claims.

Countries around the world are working on a coronavirus vaccine, including right here in Canada. Globe and Mail science reporter Ivan Semeniuk discussed the timeline and challenges in developing COVID-19 vaccines during a Facebook live.

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