SAINT JOHN â The Retail Council of Canada is concerned about planned anti-mask rallies at New Brunswick retailers.
A recent social media post encourages people to walk into a certain store at a specific time without wearing a mask.
“This is to protest against government overtaking and our bodily autonomy,” the post said.
Attendees are told to make purchases if they wish, but to leave items at checkout if they are denied service.
Jim Cormier, Atlantic director of the Retail Council of Canada, said such protests put customers and employees at risk.
âThese are rules that come from the Government of New Brunswick,â Cormier said in an interview. âIf people have a problem with government officials, that’s one thing, but they shouldn’t go after the people who work in our retail store.
Cormier said his organizations were notified of the social media post by the affected retailer and the Department of Justice and Public Safety. He said the council is “encouraged” that provincial officials are taking the matter seriously and will be monitoring affected stores.
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Public Safety said he was aware of the publication and officers would address any violations they saw.
Geoffrey Downey said the law that requires a person to wear a mask while in an indoor public space is intended to protect public health in the event of a pandemic, and that the fine for non-compliance is “significant.”
“New Brunswickers don’t need the risk created by a dangerous stunt like this, and essential retail workers certainly don’t need to be put in this position,” Downey wrote in a. e-mail.
âAnyone who is tempted to participate in this organized violation of the law should stay away. “
Cormier said board members will be prepared as best they can and make sure employees are in the know.
Brad Perry is Director of Regional News at Acadia Broadcasting, a Huddle content partner.