Vancouver police observed yet another gathering last night of maskless people thumbing their noses at provincial health recommendations.
Hugs Over Masks activists promoted the event, which was billed as the NYE Freedom Rally Dance Party, on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Citytv's David Zura reported that former Vancouver Canucks national anthem singer Mark Donnelly was among those who performed.
It came after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix reported that there were eight more deaths that day from COVID-19, bringing B.C.'s total number of fatalities to 901.
There are 7,803 active cases across B.C., with 374 people in hospital and 76 patients in intensive-care units.
Some, including Vancouver journalist Bob Mackin, are growing impatient over the Vancouver Police Department's refusal to intervene in antimask demonstrations, which are bringing people from the suburbs into the downtown core.
Police arrested one woman who was climbing on a statue. According to a VPD news release, she allegedly bit one of its members, resulting in a charge for assaulting a police officer.
On Christmas Day, the VPD arrested a 24-year-old man after he repeatedly hosted parties in his downtown apartment. He's been charged under Section 99 of the Public Health Order, but the VPD did not disclose his name in its news release.
Meanwhile, antilockdown activists are receiving legal advice from Burlington, Ontario resident and sovereign-citizen advocate Christopher James, a.k.a. Christopher James Pritchard, according to the Neet Newz website, which tracks Canada's antimask movement.
One of the leaders in Canada's antimask movement is former United Church minister Kevin Annett, who was fired in the mid 1990s after accusing church officials of covering up genocide against Indigenous people on Vancouver Island.
On December 9, Annett issued a call to police not to enforce "unlawful and unhealthy COVID measures". He claims that the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 is no more harmful than the virus for the common cold.
In the past, Annett has discussed the possibility of "trashing" COVID-19 vaccine supplies.