Two charged after unruly anti-vax protest at Eaton Centre

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Two people face charges after an unruly anti-vax protest Saturday resulted in an assault on security personnel at the Eaton Centre, according to Toronto Police.

A protest at the corner of Yonge and Dundas Sts. against vaccine passports and issues surrounding the government’s management of the pandemic resulted in people allegedly storming doors of a store at the Eaton Centre.

Social media videos show a heated confrontation between some protesters and security and police officers who attempted to keep people out.

Toronto Police alleged “a group of anti-vaccination protesters attended the Eaton Centre,“ but “were denied access by Eaton Centre security staff. “

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With proof of vaccination a prerequisite to enter some locations in the mall, several protesters following a rally decided to break protocols and storm the business.  Toronto Police say that a security guard was assaulted but no one was seriously hurt.

“I know the vast majority of people are angered and frustrated by these anti-vaccine, anti-mask protests — I am, too,” said Mayor John Tory.

“What we saw outside the Eaton Centre on Saturday is illegal behaviour and police are treating it as such.”

Cadillac Fairview, which owns the Eaton Centre, issued a statement saying its main concern was working with police to ensure the mall was safe for patrons.

“We take the health and safety of our guests, clients and employees very seriously and at no time did the centre give permission for this action,” said the statement.

Michael Leaf, 29, of Thornhill, and Vanessa Carvalho, 23, of Brampton, are each charged with one count of assault. They’ll appear in 112 court at Old City Hall on Dec. 15.

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