Hundreds gather at the Toronto Muslim Cemetery in Richmond Hill, Ont. with no bylaw in sight

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Thanksgiving Day would seem to be an odd time for hundreds of people to congregate at a graveyard. But such was the case in Richmond Hill, Ont. when what appeared to be more than 300 people came together at the Toronto Muslim Cemetery on Monday.

The thing is, under the current COVID-19 rules in Ontario, outdoor gatherings are limited to 100.

So, did police descend upon the scene, sirens blaring? Did the city’s bylaw enforcement officers rush to the cemetery, ticket books at the ready? No. (Could it be bylaw was too busy hassling restaurants and gyms for not enforcing vaccine passport mandates and capacity limitations?)

To be clear, I have absolutely no issue with crowds of people gathering anywhere.

For starters, I don’t believe this was a safety issue in terms of 300 or so people congregating upon a multi-acre environment. And besides, with the NHL and NBA seasons gearing up, how is that 300 people getting together outdoors is a problem whereas more than 20,000 people sitting cheek-to-jowl indoors is no problem whatsoever?

One individual who would like some answers is Richmond Hill Ward 2 councilor, Tom Muench. He pulled over to take photos of the congregation at the Toronto Muslim Cemetery and then tipped off Rebel News about it. I went to the scene and saw firsthand that the COVID capacity mandates were indeed being violated.

The issue is this: as we have seen in recent months, only Christian pastors have been fined and even jailed for so-called COVID-19 violations. Only Christian churches have been locked down or even sealed off with temporary fencing, again due to alleged COVID-19 violations.

Statistically speaking, it would seem highly improbable that the only people breaking the rules are of the Christian faith. So, is there something more at play here? Do the authorities purposefully turn a blind eye to other faiths because enforcing the law would be culturally insensitive? If so, we have found yet another example of an ongoing COVID-19 theme in Canada: “one law for thee, one law for me.”

Of note, I did reach out to the Regional Municipality of York Region (which encompasses Richmond Hill). Patrick Casey, Director of Corporate Communications stated: “York Region Public Health was not notified bout the event at the Toronto Muslim Cemetery in the City of Richmond Hill.”

Likewise, a spokeswoman for York Regional Police stated that the police did not receive any complaints on Thanksgiving Day about the cemetery gathering.

So, in one regard, this story actually has a happy ending. Which is to say, people passing by the Toronto Muslim Cemetery simply minded their own business; they did not devolve into “COVID Karens” nor “vax rats”; they simply went about their business. And hopefully, for those who value freedom, this will make for a growing trend in the weeks and months ahead.

All we ask for is that there is a level playing field for all.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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