The authorities in Ontario reacted to planned anti-vaccine protests outside the hospitals on Monday with Ontario Health Association (OHA) expressing deep disappointment over additional protests. (Photo – Canadian Frontline Nurses)
“The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is saddened and deeply disappointed that additional anti-vaccination protests are planned outside Ontario hospitals this week. We strongly urge those exercising their right to freedom of expression to do so peacefully, and in a manner that is respectful to the patients at those hospitals for care and the health care personnel working and performing their duties,” OHA said in a statement.
The statement further added “During protests on September 1st, some individuals taking part impeded patient access and harassed healthcare workers. The OHA supports and applauds the efforts of Ontario’s highly skilled health care workers who remain dedicated to saving the lives of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 while making every effort to ensure ongoing access to all other non-COVID related health services.”
Ontrio’s Minister of Health Christine Elliott said “Extremely disappointed to see our hospitals & staff being the target of protests after all of their sacrifice during the pandemic.”
“Peaceful protest is a right, but patients & our health care heroes do not deserve to be intimidated or obstructed from accessing or delivering care,” Elliott said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, also tweeted “The protests we’re seeing outside of hospitals are selfish, cowardly and reckless. Our health care workers have sacrificed so much to keep us all safe during this pandemic. They don’t deserve this kind of treatment — not now, not ever. Leave our health care workers alone.”
Meanwhile, the Toronto Police, issued a statement, stating that “We respect the right to peaceful, lawful demonstration but hospital operations and public safety cannot be disrupted in any way. Officers will be present and monitoring and charges will be laid where warranted.”
The protesters are planning to gather outside five hospitals in Ontario on Monday to protest against the vaccinations.
According to reports, the protesters will likely organize similar protests in other provinces as well.