SASKATOON -- A group of anti-maskers are raising concerns over a growth in mask requirements amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The group met at Kiwanis Park Saturday to display disappointment with how the pandemic has been handled, expressing opposition over mandatory mask requirements in Saskatoon. Protesters in attendence said they believe Canada should have their own opinions on the virus rather than listening to international forces like the World Health Organization.

“It’s about our freedoms, exercising our freedoms, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly," said Mark Friesen, volunteer with the rally.

Lining the sidewalk along Spadina Crescent, the rally received support through honks and cheering from some passing by, 

The Government of Saskatchewan, Health Canada, the World Health Organization, and many public health experts have all urged mask-wearing as a preventive measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The disease has claimed the lives of more than 9,000 people in Canada, and has been responsible for more than 950,000 deaths globally.

A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois suggests that most homemade face coverings do a good job of preventing the spread of respiratory droplets involved in the spread of COVID-19.

--With files from