stephen lecce protest

Anti-vax parents protested at Ontario education minister's home but nobody knows why

A small group of anti-vax protesters has been taking their fight to the doorstep of Ontario politicians, and their most recent target is the province's Education Minister Stephen Lecce, hosting multiple protests outside his York Region home this week.

Lecce's latest headache came Wednesday evening when a group of about a dozen protesters showed up on the sidewalk outside his home, blaring megaphones, sirens, and yelling through the evening.

It's nothing new for Lecce, who had to contend with disturbances from vociferous opponents to the province's health policies regarding schools at his home last summer and again earlier this month.

But the most recent protest saw parents introduce an ace up their sleeves that is proving contentious, bringing their children to participate in a rhetoric-fueled demonstration that included some pretty age-inappropriate language.

It's the presence of children that's really concerning to lawyer and political commentator Caryma S'ad, who tells blogTO, "a young boy in sub-zero temperatures banging pots and pans outside the home of an elected official speaks to the type of parenting decisions being normalized by this group."

"At one point, the boy took the megaphone to voice his frustration with online learning and say his friends were jealous because of his mask exemption," says S'ad.

The demonstration came just hours after the minister announced children will return to school in-person next week without any mandatory vaccination requirement, something one would have guessed the protesters would be happy about.

It's unclear from their chants and slogans what exactly was being protested, and perhaps the handful of attendees had not yet received the memo of this latest announcement.

Even before the heated Wednesday demonstration, a spokesperson for Lecce was speaking out against the protests, telling blogTO on Tuesday, "Over the past year, Minister Lecce's neighbours have been subjected to regular protesting outside their homes."

The statement calls out protesters for "targeting and harassing innocent people who have nothing to do with the government's decision-making" and makes it clear that while people have the right to protest, "this continued harassment of innocent members of the public has no place in Ontario."

Many critics of Lecce are speaking out against the demonstrations, one even comparing them to stalking and harassment and calling for the protestors to be arrested.

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