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Ford, Tory condemn planned demonstrations outside Canadian hospitals on Monday

Last Updated Sep 12, 2021 at 11:13 pm EDT

Summary

Hospitals are preparing for a day of protest on Monday with demonstrations against pandemic protocols and vaccines


Ontario Premier Doug Ford called the protesters "selfish, cowardly and reckless."


Toronto police said they will "monitor the situation and officers will respond, where appropriate"


Hospitals across the country are preparing for a day of protest on Monday with demonstrations against pandemic protocols expected to hamper access to healthcare facilities including one in downtown Toronto.

The group Canadian Frontline Nurses is planning what it calls a silent protest against mandates in all 10 provinces, targeting five hospitals in Toronto, London, Barrie, Ottawa and Sudbury.

“We will gather at Toronto General Hospital creating a wall memorial in tribute for those affected, weaving out stories into the fence,” reads a post on social media. It asks demonstrators to keep any signs away from the vaccine narrative, focusing instead on pro-choice and against mandates.

After vaccine passports were announced in several provinces, similar protests held across the country blocked access to ambulances and other medical services. That prompted the Ontario and Canadian medical associations to release a joint statement calling the demonstrations “wrong and unacceptable.”

“The health-care workers who have worked tirelessly for months on end are being bullied and harassed for doing their jobs. This is wrong and unacceptable – full stop,” read a portion of the statement.

The Ontario Hospital Association called the demonstrations “truly disheartening,” noting the irony that should any of these protesters get sick or seriously ill from COVID, “it will be hospitals and frontline workers that they turn to for care, perhaps even to save their life.”

Toronto ICU physician Dr. Michael Warner says while people are entitled to make their voices heard, his hope is that the authorities will not tolerate any form of harassment.

“If you have something to say, tell your elected officials, go to the legislature. Use whatever other means are necessary to make your voice heard. But leave the hospital alone, leave the patients alone, and let the healthcare workers continue to do their work unencumbered,” he says in a tweet.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford called the protests “selfish, cowardly and reckless.” However, he stopped short of announcing any measures to try and stop them.

“Our health care workers have sacrificed so much to keep us all safe during this pandemic,” he said in a tweet. “They don’t deserve this kind of treatment — not now, not ever. Leave our health care workers alone.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory condemned the protests in a tweet Sunday afternoon.

“You are doing nothing to help people, to protect the progress we have made reopening our city, or make sure we bring this pandemic to an end,” he said.

He added that he supported the police “taking whatever action is necessary to protect the lives of innocent people seeking medical care and all of our healthcare heroes.”

“We have long passed the time when we can have this tyranny of a few interfere with access to healthcare during a pandemic,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service said they’re aware of the planned protest tomorrow.

“As with all protests and demonstrations, we will continue to monitor the situation and officers will respond, where appropriate,” said Const. Alex Li

The Ontario Medical Association also weighed in, saying in a news release they’re “saddened and deeply disappointed that additional anti-vaccination protests are planned outside hospitals this week.”

“We strongly urge those exercising their right to freedom of expression to do so peacefully & in a manner that is respectful,” they said.

 


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