Western University warns anti-COVID-19 mandate protest could be ‘dangerous’

A group of Western University students is planning to hold a protest Saturday against the school’s COVID-19 mandates.

The London, Ont., university announced Monday that anyone on campus in the fall must have at least three COVID-19 shots and wear masks in classrooms.

In a statement, Western said it’s aware of the planned student protest.

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“It has also come to our attention that groups not associated with our campus community are looking to use this peaceful protest as a platform to express their own grievances,” the statement read. “We are concerned that this event will be used for reasons other than what our students have planned, creating a risk of it becoming disruptive and potentially dangerous.”

The statement says London police will be co-ordinating with the school to keep the protest peaceful.

Western is the only post-secondary university in Canada that’s mandating boosters for all students and staff on campus.

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The University of Toronto and Trent University are requiring those living in residence to have three and two doses, respectively.

Most universities have not imposed vaccine mandates for the fall semester, and the province lifted proof-of-vaccination rules in public spaces months ago.

— With files from The Canadian Press