Doug Ford Calls Anti-Vaccine Protests At Ontario Hospitals 'Selfish' & 'Reckless'

There'll be protests in Toronto, Barrie, Sudbury, Ottawa, and London, Ontario.

Doug Ford Calls Anti-Vaccine Protests At Ontario Hospitals 'Selfish' & 'Reckless'
Toronto Associate Editor

Anti-vaxxers are set to protest outside several of Ontario's hospitals today, and these demonstrations won't be the first of their kind since the provincial government announced that vaccine passports are set to come into effect on September 22.

The Canadian Frontline Nurses are protesting across the country, including at various hospitals in London, Ottawa, Barrie, Sudbury, and Toronto at 2 p.m., September 13. Ontario Premier Doug Ford tweeted his thoughts on the protests yesterday, calling them "selfish, cowardly and reckless."

"The protests we're seeing outside of hospitals are selfish, cowardly and reckless," Ford tweeted. "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."

According to the Canadian Frontline Nurses event description, this "silent vigil" is set to "honour those affected by measures put in place over the last year and [a] half."

"Share your loss and grieving, to bring out the truth on what is happening across Canada and why we are taking a stand [against] tyrannical measures and government overreach," reads their event page.

Toronto Police have already announced via Twitter that they'll have officers present at the protests today and will lay charges whenever they are warranted. Barrie Police also tweeted that they'll "ensure hospital operations are not affected & the safety of the public, hospital staff, patients, and visitors is maintained."

The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) condemned the anti-vaxx protests on September 12.

"We respect democracy and the rights of people to protest but these must not be held anywhere where they block entry and exit to health-care facilities, especially access for emergency vehicles or patients seeking emergency care," officials wrote in a joint announcement. "The RNAO and OMA also say charges must be pressed against anyone engaging in harassment, aggression, or hate speech if these protests take place."

Toronto Mayor John Tory took to Twitter to condemn the protests, too. "We all have a right to protest but abusing that right in order to harass people outside a hospital and spread misinformation about vaccines in the middle of the pandemic is unacceptable and beyond the pale," Tory tweeted yesterday.

London Mayor Ed Holder also joined the conversation.

"Our healthcare heroes need our support today more than ever, especially with a series of planned protests by anti-vaxx mobs outside hospitals across Canada, including @LHSCCanada," he tweeted this morning. "This is an absolutely shameful development and one I condemn in the strongest possible terms."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor