Trudeau criminalize blocking health care facilities

Liberals to criminalize blocking access to health care facilities, threatening staff and patients

Justin Trudeau made the promise ahead of protests planned at hospitals across Canada today.

At a campaign stop in Vancouver this afternoon, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau promised that, if re-elected next Monday, Sept. 20, the Liberals will criminalize protests that take place outside hospitals. There will also be stiffer penalties for anyone who threatens, harasses or intimidates health care workers performing their duties, or patients receiving care.

“The Liberal Party of Canada, if reelected to form government, will make it a criminal offence to block access to buildings that provide health care, whether that’s hospitals, clinics, abortion clinics, pharmacies or testing centres,” Trudeau said.

This election promise comes in light of a number of protests by anti-vaxxers outside hospitals and other health care facilities (there is one planned for Montreal and a number of other Canadian cities later today), a nationwide trend that is worrying the already overworked and overwhelmed health care workers trying to treat people during the ongoing pandemic.

“It is not okay that across the country hospitals are having to put up barricades today to manage the mobs coming their way,” Trudeau added. “It’s not okay any day to know that a nurse going into a late shift crossing a parking lot might be afraid that there could be someone there to spit on her or shout obscenities at her. That’s not okay, and Canadians want to stand up for our healthcare practitioners.

“And further, we are going to make it a criminal offence for anyone to threaten or intimidate any healthcare practitioner on their way in to work in the exercise of their duty or a patient on their way to get medical services. It’s unfortunate, really, that we have to get to this point, where we have to point out that that’s not something that should be done. It’s not right that the people tasked with keeping us safe and alive during this pandemic should be exposed to hatred, violence, fear and intimidation.”

The announcement and ongoing press conference can be viewed in its entirety below.

Liberals to criminalize blocking access to health care facilities, threatening staff and patients

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