anti vax party ontario

Ontario anti-vaxxers just held a truly bizarre party ignoring health restrictions

Most people in Ontario have cancelled their social plans as Omicron sweeps across the province and restrictions limit indoor gatherings to five.

But anti-vaxxers have once again decided that the rules don't apply to observers of their movement, hosting a party on Sunday evening that blatantly flouted public health mandates.

Though sparsely attended, the event hosted at the Keene Centre for the Arts in the small community of Keene, Ontario, was well beyond the legal capacity of five, and not a mask could be seen in a brief clip shared to Twitter, cut from a much longer video streamed on Facebook.

But aside from an apparent disregard for provincial regulations designed to stop the spread, it was the strange scene in the dimly-lit venue that's generating conversation on social media.

Serenading the small crowd was Roy Asselstine, owner of the controversial PB Peterburger's restaurant that has made recent headlines and found itself shut down for its anti-vax stances.

Asselstine sings critical words about Justin Trudeau, Doug Ford, and Christine Elliott, riles up his crowd with obligatory "freedom" references, and then offers up a painfully bad rendition of comedian Denis Leary's 1993 single "Asshole."

Interestingly, it's a song Leary famously revived a few years ago to criticize Donald Trump, a figure many in the far-right anti-vax community identify with.

But even more perplexing is the man drowning out Asselstine's song with screams of "freedom," giving off a vibe that's somewhere between the infamous QAnon shaman and Mel Gibson in Braveheart.

While the venue should be closed according to Ontario's Step 2 rules, the Keene Centre has stated that it will be open for private meetings, filming productions and private live streaming sessions for the month of January

An attempt was made to contact venue owner Ida Brown for her take on the party, which clearly violated provincial COVID-19 protocols, but blogTO has yet to receive comment on the matter.

Much of the online chatter makes light of the danger attendees put themselves in.

One commenter alleges that multiple attendees were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, and that others in the room — all unmasked and likely unvaccinated too — may have been exposed to the virus.

Though based on the rhetoric shared at the event, it's unlikely anyone attending is concerned about this potential exposure.

Lead photo by

Thundra Amo Kerr

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