Skip to content

TORONTO – Toronto Mayor John Tory condemns all participation in a protest outside the hospital gates ahead of a scheduled anti-vaccine rally at Toronto General Hospital on Monday, warning police are ready to arrest anyone who blocks ambulance access to the establishment.

“We all have the right to protest, but abusing that right to harass people outside a hospital and spread vaccine misinformation amid the pandemic is unacceptable and beyond pallor,” Tory said in a statement Sunday night.

“It’s unfair to our health heroes and to anyone trying to get to the hospital for treatment.”

In a social media post, Toronto Police reiterated this sentiment, saying that while they respect everyone’s right to protest peacefully, “hospital operations and public safety cannot be disrupted in any way. whether it be”.

“Agents will be present and surveillance and charges will be laid when warranted,” they said.

For weeks, groups opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine warrants and related masking and lockdown rules have been staging protests in front of hospitals across the country. Hospital Row in Toronto is a planned assembly point for another rally on Monday.

“To see this protest happening just outside our workplaces and the intimidated patients, the intimidated healthcare workers as well, it’s very disturbing,” Critical Care Nurse Birgit Umaigba told CTV Toronto. teacher at Centennial College.

Umaigba knows several nurses who plan not to go to work on Monday for fear of encountering protests outside the hospital gates.

“They are not the place to yell and scream and bully,” warned hospital director of intensive care Michael Garron, Dr Michael Warner. “Especially when so many people on the other side of the doors of these hospitals are suffering from the disease that some people refuse to be vaccinated for.”

“It’s demoralizing, it’s disheartening,” downtown intensive care nurse Vikky Leung told CTV Toronto on Sunday.

Leung started a petition on supporting legislated safe zones around hospitals to prevent bullying, writing, “It is not okay for anyone to worry about their safety or worry about obstacles when he accesses health care or goes to work to care for others. . “

His patients, Leung said, are particularly vulnerable.

“They have to go through these events, and it’s scary, when you’re immunocompromised you don’t know if these people are vaccinated. Chances are they aren’t – that’s why they’re protesting, ”she said.

Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath is urging Ontario Premier Doug Ford to pass legislation that would create “public health safe zones” in an effort to reduce harassment.

“My safe zone bill would make this targeted bullying a provincial offense. Instead of going into hiding, Ford can go back to work and pass my bill to end harassment now,” she said. tweeted on Sunday.

The legislature was prorogued until after the federal election.

Meanwhile, the prime minister took to social media to label the protests “selfish, cowardly and reckless.”

“Our healthcare workers have sacrificed so much to keep us safe during this pandemic. They don’t deserve this kind of treatment, not now or ever. Let’s leave our healthcare workers alone, ”Ford tweeted on Sunday.

Tory said Toronto Police Chief James Ramer promised him that if a protest happened at a hospital, officers would make sure healthcare workers were protected and patients and the ambulance were not would not be prevented from accessing the building.


ctvnews Canada news