Free Press Staff

The town of Aylmer has declared a state of emergency because of the “potential for civil unrest and service disruptions” at an upcoming march to protest COVID-19 restrictions.

Aylmer Mayor Mary French signed the order that came into effect at 3 p.m. Monday.

Aylmer police say the order was declared in response to a second “anti-masking Freedom March” scheduled to be held this Saturday.

In a statement posted on the town’s website, French said an emergency is defined under provincial legislation as “a situation, or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property.”

Declaring a state of emergency extends legal protection to staff and elected officials, French said, and it also “conveys the serious (sic) of the circumstance to not only the residents of the municipality, but also creates awareness to the levels of government and officials that are so willing to assist.”

More than 150 people gathered Oct. 24 in downtown Aylmer for what they called a “freedom march” to protest COVID-19 restrictions.

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