After the Canadian Frontline Nurses recently announced that they would organize continuous “silent vigils” across the country, politicians and health officials immediately voiced out their dissent of the same.
The group’s central claim is that the national government is mishandling the whole pandemic situation. Moreover, the government is also becoming “tyrannical” with its mandatory administration of COVID-19 vaccines among citizens and setting up “vaccination passports“ that seem to take away rights and privileges.
The group also disclosed that the venues for these protests in 18 cities would be mainly outside hospitals or medical buildings. Some of the specifically named places are the IH Community Health Services Centre in Kelowna, Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre, and the Toronto General Hospital.
However, the plans of the Canadian Frontline Nurses of staging these “silent vigils” have received flak almost immediately from health officials and politicians all over the country.
Doug Ford, Ontario’s Premier, tweeted that these protests are “selfish, cowardly, and reckless.” He also urged the group’s members to “leave our healthcare workers alone” because they “don’t deserve this kind of treatment—not now, not ever.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory emphasized that they have already set up some protective measures if protesters do something drastic like blocking an ambulance from responding to an emergency or becoming aggressive toward patients and healthcare workers.
“We all have a right to protest, but abusing that right to harass people outside a hospital and spread misinformation about vaccines in the middle of the pandemic is unacceptable and beyond the pale,” he stressed on social media.
British Columbia’s Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, shared that while he agrees that the protesters can express their views, interfering with cancer patients, heart patients, and grieving families is a different story. “There are places to demonstrate that are not our public hospitals,” Dix added.
President of Alberta Health Services, Dr. Verna Yiu, also related her disappointment to the protests that turned out to be platforms that seemingly encouraged “personal attacks” on physicians and medical staff. “Now more than ever, our physicians and frontline teams need your support,” Dr. Yiu said. “That is uncalled for and extremely unsettling.”