“Reclaiming Canada” conference proceeds despite cancel campaign
“Reclaiming Canada” conference proceeds despite cancel campaign

The “Reclaiming Canada” conference, hosted by We Unify at the Victoria Conference Centre in Victoria, B.C. was a standing room only event on the weekend.

The 400-seat theatre was at capacity as audience members anticipated the first session on health and science, featuring TV personality and addictions specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky, Stanford University professor of medicine Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, and other medical professionals who reminisced on the unscientific premises of COVID lockdowns, masks, and vaccines.

A group of approximately 50 protesters from the group “1 Million Voices for Inclusion” were gathered outside the venue on Saturday morning, with many prominently flying flags of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the BC General Employees’ Union. 

Local B.C. NDP MLA Grace Lore was also present at the protest to pressure the Victoria Conference Centre into cancelling the conference and rejecting bookings from freedom-minded groups.

The protest quickly dwindled to a group of ten who wrote phrases such as “Hormones Save Lives,” and “Queer Liberation Now” in chalk on the pavement, as well as repeated scrawls of “Shame.”

Source: Lindsay Shepherd

“I have to admit disappointment over the turnout; while respectable, we expected far more to attend,” protest organizer Martin Girard wrote on his anarchist blog.

“1 Million Voices for Inclusion” activists launched a month-long campaign to get the City of Victoria to cancel We Unify’s booking at the municipally-run conference venue, but the city stood strong.

“The city’s actions are subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and there is a right to freedom of expression in public places,” city spokesperson Colleen Mycroft told Chek News.

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau wrote a letter to Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto calling for the conference to be cancelled.

“Hosting the ‘We Unify’ conference at a City of Victoria-owned venue is a direct contradiction of the ‘Declaration of Ongoing Solidarity with Gender-Diverse Residents of Victoria’ adopted by Victoria City Council in 2023,” wrote Furstenau.

The other sessions at the Reclaiming Canada conference were titled “Tech and Media,” “Democracy and Law,” and “The Future,” featuring speakers including Freedom Convoy organizers Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, Rebel News journalist Drea Humphrey, and former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford.

The protesters’ fixation on gender issues stems from how some of the conference speakers, such as social media influencer Zuby, have spoken out against biological males invading women’s spaces and women’s sports by claiming to be trans.

The Victoria Conference Centre demanded the day before the conference that We Unify pay $50,000 in security, but We Unify spokesperson Karla Treadway said the amount had not been settled as the venue had not yet provided a risk assessment report.

“There’s no confirmed fee… we said we wanted confirmation that we were actually at risk and requiring that kind of security because this is just a really peaceful event. And we just can’t imagine that that would even be remotely necessary,” Treadway told True North.

“So we asked for data to show that we’re actually in a position requiring maximum security, we’re still in negotiations as far as number, but it has nothing that our safety team can’t deal with.”

Treadway said the We Unify organizers were not intimidated by the protesters’ and leftist politicians’ attempts to ban their event. 

“This is not a political event. It’s a nonpartisan event. We invited Liberal speakers, NDP speakers, and legacy media – they all declined. And we really see that this is a real serious problem that people can’t actually talk anymore,” said Treadway.

“This is a grassroots movement, and it’s just going to keep on getting bigger and bigger. Our intention is to build bridges.”

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