More than a dozen residents turned out for a rally opposing mandatory vaccines at the Hay River Northmart, Nov. 6.
Several residents, young and old, held makeshift signs and greeted passersby on Woodland Drive at the grocery store.
Two politicians showed up to the scene to mingle with residents including a masked Hay River South MLA Rocky Simpson and recently elected town Coun. Karen Wall.
Responses from drivers varied, often with polite waves and sometimes supportive honks of car horns.
At least one individual, a male, masked driver rolled down his window and shouted angrily at the demonstrators.
Rally participants were largely in good spirits but shared many concerns about the Government of the Northwest Territories’ employment vaccine program and potential new requirements in public and private facilities to be fully vaccinated.
Most were aware of the City of Yellowknife’s council discussions on introducing a vaccine policy for city facilities and worried about a similar policy coming to the Town of Hay River.
“At least Yellowknife has some councillors who are going to speak up and I am hoping that we have some councillors here who are going to do the same,” said one rally participant.
Another person present who has worked at Ekati Mine disapproved of the vaccine requirements put in place after the mine reopened.
“It’s like I’m giving you my life as a worker and now you want to control what goes in my body?” the person said.
Another planned demonstration was scheduled to be held at the Hay River Town Hall on the evening of Nov. 8.