At a press conference on Tuesday, September 28, the government announced that hospitals and health services would now fall under the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, which also protects railways, highways and pipelines.
"Those who hamper anyone's ability to access health care facilities must be stopped," said Alberta's Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu during the press conference.
The government press release specifies, "This law carries punishments for trespassing, interfering with operations and construction, and causing damage." However, it also says that protests and demonstrations are not banned.
"This regulation is not about forbidding anyone's constitutional right to protest," said Madu. "This is about ensuring that people protesting do not impede access to healthcare or staff that make these facilities work."
According to the government, a fine of $1,000 up to $10,000 can be applied to first offences and up to $25,000 for subsequent ones. You can also be imprisoned for up to six months, or have both the fine and imprisonment imposed.
The new measures come after a series of anti-vaccine protests were held earlier this month at hospitals across Canada.