pearson airport protest

Toronto's latest freedom rally was completely staged and there's an obvious clue

Toronto's Pearson International Airport has become a test of travellers' patience in recent weeks, plagued with unprecedented overcrowding and delays, long lineups, baggage headaches, and even instances of passengers being trapped on sweaty planes for hours.

So naturally, it came as a shock when the airport announced that, amid all the chaos, it would be holding a full-scale emergency exercise on a busy Saturday, where roughly 300 mock protesters would shut down traffic just outside of the sprawling international travel hub.

The fake protest — populated by members of the airport community, partners and volunteers — is a requirement by Transport Canada, testing the security and response capabilities of airports.

Aside from minor traffic disruption in the area of Convair Drive and Electra Road between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, there have been no reports of significant issues caused by the exercise.

It isn't disruption caused by the faux-test generating discussion, but photos of the event shared by Pearson Airport.

It's pretty clear that this fake protest was themed based on recent events, protesters bearing anti-mask, anti-vax, and anti-mandate signage.

But these supposed anti-maskers were all sporting masks, adding a weird element of humour to a simple preparedness exercise.

Naturally, there are oh, so many comments focusing on the obvious.

It's a confusing scene, to say the least, with signs comparing masks to communism carried by mask-wearers, which is either a funny oversight or a tacit endorsement of communism. Who even knows at this point.

Not everyone sees the humour in this, though, as many seem offended that their ideology of "freedom" is being poked fun at.

Others just seem to think there are more important issues for Pearson to be focusing on, though the airport was required to hold this exercise, with or without signs.

Between the poor timing and the controversy that follows anything related to public health measures, what was supposed to be a quick tweet announcing the conclusion of the mock protest has garnered almost 500 comments as of this writing.

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