Liberals promise to crack down on anti-vaccine protests against hospitals. They plan to introduce a bill that would criminalize intimidation against health care workers as well as blocking passage to all buildings that provide health services.
The Liberal Leader Justin trudeau made the promise along with health care workers and candidates in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“Health workers have made huge sacrifices to put their families at risk, to serve the community, to keep us alive and now they need us to be there for them unequivocally,” said Monday Mr. Trudeau, who was accompanied by his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and his youngest son Hadrien for the occasion.
“We are therefore going to make it illegal to block access to a building where health care services are delivered, whether hospitals, clinics, abortion clinics, pharmacies, screening centers. […] We’re also going to make it illegal to intimidate or threaten a healthcare worker. […] or any patient who is seeking health care, ”he said.
The Liberal leader said to himself “okay it’s a bit ridiculous” that Canada has come to this, but that it has no choice.
To a journalist who pointed out that there were already Criminal Code offenses against intimidation and harassment, Mr. Trudeau replied that there are specific provisions in the Code for certain trades such as journalists or judges. The bill his party would introduce would go in the same direction, for health care workers this time.
While the protests in front of the hospitals were denounced by all the other federal leaders, they did not go as far as the Liberals.
The head of New Democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh, suggested that intimidating or harassing a healthcare worker or patient waiting for healthcare, specifically, should be an aggravating factor in criminal charges.
The leaders of the Conservative Party and Bloc Quebecois both said these acts of intimidation against healthcare workers and patients are “unacceptable”, without suggesting that legislation should be enacted.
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