RCMP ticketed protesters leaving an anti-lockdown rally outside a central Alberta café Saturday, after the establishment was closed by health officials earlier in the week.
Despite pouring rain and a pre-emptive court injunction, hundreds gathered outside the Whistle Stop Café in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta., for the “Save Alberta Campout Protest.”
Demonstrators were there to support café owner Chris Scott and challenge Public Health Orders meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.
A spokesman for the RCMP said officers took the first three hours of the protest to educate demonstrators on COVID-19 regulations and notify them that they were contravening the injunction.
“There was a decision at one point to start mounting enforcement,” said Cpl. Troy Savinkoff. “That was around 4 p.m.”
Savinkoff said police would provide a more thorough update on how many people were ticketed later Saturday.
On Wednesday, AHS said it closed the café after the agency received more than 400 complaints about the business since January. Health authorities said the café is to remain closed until Scott can demonstrate the ability to comply with health restrictions.
Quebec hospitalizations, ICU numbers linked to COVID-19 continue to tick downward
Quebec is reporting 958 new cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths over the past 24 hours.
Health authorities say hospitalizations fell by 27 to 547, with 130 patients in intensive care, a decrease of nine.
The province says it administered just over 91,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine for a total of more than 4.1 million doses injected across the province so far.
Montreal reported the most new cases with 204; followed by Montérégie, south of Montreal, with 131; and Chaudière-Appalaches with 123 cases.
Slightly more than 40 per cent of Quebec’s population has received at least one dose of vaccine.
Quebec bars and restaurants are planning to stage a symbolic reopening this afternoon, as owners call on the government to allow them to unlock their doors for patrons who have received at least one jab.
Ontario broadens COVID-19 vaccine eligibility at hot spot pharmacies to 18+
As of Saturday, younger Ontarians in some COVID-19 hot spots can now book vaccine appointments at pharmacies.
The province says 78 pharmacy locations in Toronto and Peel Region are now offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 18 and older.
In Durham, Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor and York Region, a total of 58 pharmacies are now offering the Moderna shot to anyone aged 18 and up.
The province quietly announced the expansion online, where vaccine-seekers can search by postal code to find local pharmacies administering shots.
People are advised to book online or to contact pharmacy sites directly about availability.
Justin Bates, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, posted on Twitter Friday saying his organization was pleased with the pharmacy program expansion.
The province says it administered 138,125 COVID-19 vaccine doses on Friday, for a total of 6,023,610.
Ontario is reporting 2,864 cases of COVID-19 Saturday. Provincial data says 25 more people have died from the virus.
There are currently 1,832 COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals. That number includes 851 patients in intensive care and 588 on ventilators. The day’s data is based on 47,817 completed tests.
Elsewhere in Canada
- In British Columbia, Fraser Health officials have declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a poultry processing plant in Surrey. Officials say in a news release that 29 staff have tested positive for the virus and the facility has been ordered to close for 10 days beginning Friday. They say there have been no reported cases of food or its packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and there is no recall of chicken products distributed from the plant. British Columbia reported 722 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and seven more deaths, for a total of 1,602 fatalities. The Fraser Health region saw the highest number of cases at 523 followed by 115 in the Vancouver Coastal area.
- Nova Scotia continues to log high case counts of COVID-19, reporting 163 new infections Saturday. Public health officials in Nova Scotia have also confirmed a man in his 70s has died in the Halifax area, bringing the province’s total number of virus-related deaths to 71. Most of the new cases in Nova Scotia are in the Halifax region, with 134 occurring in the central zone, while the remainder are spread over the rest of the province. As of Saturday, Nova Scotia has 1,538 active cases of COVID-19 with 49 people in hospital, including seven in intensive care.
- New Brunswick is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 and one related death Saturday. Public Health officials say the person who died was in their 90s and lived in the Pavillon Beau-Lieu care home in Grand Falls, N.B. There have now been 41 deaths in the province. Of the eight new cases, two are in Moncton, two in the Saint John area, three in the Fredericton area and three in the Bathurst region. The cases are all contacts of previously confirmed patients. There are currently 141 active cases in the province and 10 people hospitalized, including two in intensive care.
- There are six new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador Saturday. The province says those include two men and a woman in their 20s and a man in his 60s in the Eastern Health region. The fifth new confirmed case is a man in the Central Health region under 20 years of age, while the sixth is a man in the Western Health region in his 70s. There are now 67 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.