Police involved after “totally unacceptable” threats against Dr Henry, officials say

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VANCOUVER – Death threats against British Columbia’s provincial health worker Dr. Bonnie Henry sparked a response from police, officials confirmed on Wednesday. Henry discussed the threats while speaking to the Union of BC Municipalities on Tuesday, as well as the abusive messages and phone calls his office received during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re becoming a target,” Henry said. “I had to have security in my house. I have received death threats. ”

Adrian Dix, who worked with Henry on the province’s response to COVID-19 for months as health minister, told CTV News law enforcement was involved in responding to threats, but couldn’t give more details.

“We have extraordinarily professional police services in British Columbia. We are very fortunate and we are taking their advice and following their advice and giving our full support to Dr Henry, ”he added.

Whether this means investigating threats as a criminal matter or providing protection to Henry is unclear.

The Department of Public Security also did not provide details. In an email, a spokesperson only said that the government “takes threats against anyone in the BC public service very seriously and is working with the appropriate agencies and authorities to address them.”

During his campaign on Wednesday, NDP Leader John Horgan said he was “horrified” to learn of the attempted intimidation of a dedicated public servant.

“It is beyond the tragic that individuals in the community use their anonymity from the Internet or other mechanisms to try to intimidate someone who gets up every day to try to improve the lives of people in their community. Horgan said.

Henry also told UBCM that she believes being a woman in a prominent position makes some people more comfortable targeting her than her male counterparts.

Dix said he agreed and had not received any death threats since the pandemic began, despite being as much a part of the government’s forward-looking response as Henry.

“I think sometimes women in strong positions – strong, powerful, capable women who do extraordinary work like Dr. Henry – face that, and it’s totally unacceptable,” Dix said.

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau said she was “sad and devastated” by the news, but not surprised.

“I’m so sorry for what she’s going through, and unfortunately for women in public office it becomes too normal,” Furstenau said.

Former Prime Minister Christy Clark was also not surprised. “It’s just a really sad thing to imagine, that among all people would receive death threats and need security,” said Clark, who has spoken often of the misogyny and double standards that she has been. victim during his tenure.

“The minute Bonnie Henry, who seems so warm and supportive, puts the hammer down and says I’m going to be tough here, if she’s no longer kind people won’t be so nice to her,” Clark said. “And that’s what sexism is.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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