The provincial government of Alberta is set to introduce new legal regulations to help curb disruptive protests in the vicinity of hospitals and healthcare facilities. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced this in a statement recently released to the media.
According to Kenney, the said legal regulations will focus on including hospitals and healthcare facilities under the province’s Critical Infrastructure Defence Act. In addition, the law protects pipelines, highways, and railways. It also allows punishment for causing damage, interfering with operations and construction, and trespassing, among other relevant provisions.
Kenney revealed that the provincial government decided to include hospitals and healthcare facilities under the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act after recent demonstrations were held outside these places. These protests “revealed the need to keep healthcare workers safe and to make sure Albertans can receive critical care when they need it,” the Premier added.
Kenney pointed out that the provincial government of Alberta nor the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act is not about impeding the people’s Constitutional right to assemble and blocking their right to freedom of expression peaceably. He clarified that “all Canadians have the right to peaceful protest.” However, he emphasized that “blocking ambulances and preventing people from getting treatment is definitely not peaceful.”
The Alberta Premier also related that “law enforcement is now fully empowered to make sure hospitals and health facilities are safe.” The exact time when the new legal regulations will take effect was not divulged in Kenney’s statement, though.