police on site as pandemic protesters stab hospitals – .

police on site as pandemic protesters stab hospitals – .

TORONTO – Two police officers escorted Faye Doiron and Randy Longaphie as they left Toronto General Hospital on Monday, helping the couple make their way through a crowd of protesters denouncing pandemic measures.

Doiron, who came to Toronto from Prince Edward Island to wait for a lung transplant, was leaving after a physiotherapy session at the hospital, with his cousin Longaphie pushing her wheelchair.

The largely unmasked crowd of protesters slowly but peacefully separated to let them pass as one officer led the way and another walked behind them.

“It’s terrifying,” Doiron said. “The doctors told me that if I ever caught COVID, I wouldn’t be able to. “

Dozens of protesters attended the rally on Monday, many of them condemning Ontario’s proof of vaccination system, which is expected to go into effect next week. A larger protest also took place earlier Monday afternoon in front of the Ontario Legislature.

The event was one of several scheduled across Canada on Monday. An organization calling itself Canadian Frontline Nurses has issued notices of “silent vigils” to be held in several communities, which it said were intended to criticize public health measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The planned locations included the Winnipeg Health Sciences Center and the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center in Halifax.

Organizers said they wanted to take a stand against what they called “the tyrannical measures and excesses of the government,” but added that they were not encouraging nurses to quit their posts or abandon patients.

In Montreal, protesters gathered at the Glen site of the McGill University Hospital Center, some carrying placards questioning the use of COVID-19 vaccines. Others carried signs opposing the rules imposed on health workers.

Health care workers in Quebec who are in contact with patients for more than 15 minutes at a time must be fully immunized by October 15. The health ministry said workers who are not fully vaccinated by then will be reassigned, if possible, or suspended without pay.

About two dozen protesters gathered on the sidewalk outside the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center in Halifax on Monday, many of them expressing concerns about the proof of vaccination system announced by health officials from this province last week, which takes effect October 4.

Police officers wearing yellow vests controlled a crowd of protesters at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Center on Monday afternoon, ensuring patients and staff could enter the facility safely.

Dozens of people rallying against public health restrictions – including vaccine passports – gathered on a street corner. Some carried signs that read ‘medical vaccine

medical tyranny ”and“ lockdowns are a crime against humanity ”, while a group of counter-protesters held up a sign saying“ we stand in solidarity with AHS (Alberta Health Services) ”.

Sparky Johnson, one of the protesters at the Queen’s Park event in Toronto, said she was a member of Take Action Canada, a group opposed to compulsory vaccination.

“It’s my body and I can choose what to put in it,” she said.

Toronto police said there were no reports that hospital staff or patients were barred from accessing Toronto General Hospital as part of the protests, and no disruption in hospital services.

However, the University Health Network, which runs the Toronto General Hospital, said such protests are daunting for staff.

“Seeing protests outside hospitals is demoralizing for everyone who works here, but especially for staff who have cared for people dying from COVID-19, often without their entire family and loved ones around them,” he said. the hospital network said in a statement Monday.

This sentiment was echoed by some doctors who stood outside the hospital as the protest began.

Dr Andrew Boozary, executive director of social medicine at the University Health Network, said the event “feels like a moral punch” for people in a healthcare system already struggling with burnout due to of the pandemic.

“I think we just have to remember that this is a very small vocal minority,” Boozary said.

Some high-ranking Ontario politicians and prominent health care organizations had issued warnings in anticipation of the events.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford called such events “selfish, cowardly and reckless” in a tweet Sunday.

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the Ontario Medical Association issued a joint statement “strongly condemning” the planned disruption and calling for designated safe zones around healthcare facilities to protect staff and patients – a proposal that the New Democrats in the province also launched.

Toronto Mayor John Tory condemned protests planned for some hospitals in the city, adding that he had been in contact with the local police chief about the events and had been assured that staff would be protected and that patients could access the buildings.

Some federal party leaders also addressed protests planned during election campaigns.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau pledged to introduce legislation that would criminalize obstructing access to any building providing health care, or intimidating or threatening health care workers in the line of duty as well as any patient receiving such care.

“It is not fair that the people responsible for keeping us safe and alive during this pandemic are exposed to hatred, violence, fear and intimidation,” he said during this pandemic. ‘an event in Vancouver.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has said peaceful protests are one thing, harassing people who access and work in healthcare is another.

“This type of harassment and protest in front of hospitals is totally unacceptable,” he said during a campaign event in Ottawa.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said it was wrong to protest in hospitals.

“No healthcare worker, patient, person seeking healthcare should in any way be limited or have a barrier to getting the care they need,” he said in a statement. campaign in Sioux Lookout, Ontario.

Past protests have focused both on public health measures and the prospect of proof of vaccination systems that would limit access to many public places for those who have not been immune to COVID-19.

British Columbia’s system goes into effect Monday, while Ontario’s is slated to launch on September 22.

Quebec was deployed earlier this month, Manitoba began issuing vaccination cards in June, and Nova Scotia and the Yukon said proof of vaccination systems were underway.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 13, 2021.

–With files from Alanna Smith in Calgary, Danielle Edwards in Halifax, Jacob Serebrin in Montreal and Allison Jones in Toronto


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