OCLA Recommends Civil Disobedience Against Mandatory Masking

The Ontario government has not mandated the use of face masks in the general population. However, it has recommended that people wear non-medical masks or face coverings when physical distancing is a challenge or not possible. The government also recommends that people wear masks in enclosed public spaces, such as stores and malls.

The decision to mandate face masks in certain areas is left up to local governments and authorities. Some municipalities have implemented bylaws requiring people to wear face masks in certain public places, while others have issued recommendations but not made them mandatory.

The scientific basis for wearing face masks is still being studied, but there is evidence that they can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the transmission of droplets from an infected person’s mouth and nose.

The primary harm of widespread mask use is that it can create a false sense of security. People may feel that they are protected from the virus when in fact, masks only provide limited protection. This could lead to people engaging in risky behaviors such as not social distancing or not washing their hands regularly.

Additionally, masks can cause physical discomfort and difficulty breathing for some people, particularly those with respiratory conditions. Wearing a mask for extended periods of time can also lead to skin irritation and acne breakouts.

Finally, there is the potential for increased transmission of other illnesses due to the accumulation of bacteria on masks over time. This could lead to an increase in cases of colds, flu, and other respiratory infections if masks are not washed regularly.

The OCLA recognizes that peaceful civil disobedience is a legitimate form of protest and can be an effective way to challenge unjust laws. We believe that individuals should have the right to make their own decisions about their health and safety, and that governments should not be able to impose restrictions on citizens without providing evidence that these restrictions are necessary and safe. We also recognize that peaceful civil disobedience can be a powerful tool for bringing attention to issues of injustice, and we encourage individuals to use it responsibly.

1. Know the law: It is important to understand the laws and regulations that you are protesting against. This will help you determine what actions are necessary to effectively protest without breaking the law.

2. Choose a peaceful form of protest: Civil disobedience should be non-violent and respectful of other people’s rights. Avoid physical confrontation or property damage, as these can lead to criminal charges.

3. Prepare for consequences: Understand that civil disobedience may result in arrest or other legal repercussions, so it is important to be prepared for this possibility. Have a plan in place for how you will handle any potential consequences, such as finding legal representation if needed.

4. Document your actions: Documenting your protest can help protect your rights and provide evidence of your commitment to peaceful civil disobedience if needed in court. Take photos or videos of the event, keep records of any interactions with police officers, and make sure to have witnesses present who can testify on your behalf if necessary.

5. Respect authority: Even when engaging in civil disobedience, it is important to respect authority figures such as police officers and government officials who may be present at the event. Remain calm and polite during interactions with them, even if they do not reciprocate this behavior towards you.

  • Do not be isolated. Find or form grassroots support groups, or even just one other trusted person who can accompany you.
  • Be polite, not argumentative. Do not be legalistic. Calmly state your position of defiance of the rule, without trying to convince authorities.
  • You do not need to justify yourself, or provide any evidence of special circumstances. Simply state that you will not comply because the directive is not justified.
  • Record your interactions with authorities and establishment personnel. Get name badges and positions. Ask questions to clarify what they are requesting and who is requesting it and why.
  • Make your recordings and reports public, on social media, and to your support groups. OCLA can receive and publish your reports, as one venue.
  • Expect that other citizens will oppose you and that they may be angry or aggressive. Do not respond with anger or get into an argument. Your respectful act of defiance speaks for itself.
  • If they want to trespass you, then ask them to call police or security to do that. When a police or peace officer arrives, explain the situation calmly. Be cooperative. Follow orders. Do not resist arrest, if it comes to that.
  • If you are given an enforcement or by-law ticket, ask why and on what basis. Anticipate fighting the ticket in court, as a next step.
    [OCLA does not provide legal assistance, but may help you find legal assistance.]
  • Be strong, confident and positive about the experience that is civil disobedience. You are freely doing it for yourself and society. There is a cost but it is often worth it.
  • Ontario lawyers who wish to provide pro bono assistance to fight fines are asked to contact OCLA via web, to be added to a list that can be used to inform those needing help:


The Ontario College of Law and Advocacy (OCLA) provides a comprehensive guide to the practice of law in Ontario. The guide covers topics such as the legal profession, legal education, professional conduct, and court procedures. It also includes information on the various types of lawyers in Ontario, including solicitors, barristers, and paralegals. The guide is available as a PDF from OCLA’s website.

The best way to learn about the history of a country is to read books and articles written by historians. Additionally, visiting museums and other historical sites can be a great way to gain an understanding of the country’s past. It is also important to talk to people who have lived in the country for a long time, as they may have stories or insights that are not found in books or articles. Finally, watching documentaries and films about the country’s history can be a great way to gain an understanding of its past.