New bill would prevent protesting at Brampton Civic Hospital, all schools in the city

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Published October 5, 2021 at 3:52 pm

A new bill could prevent protesting at Brampton Civic Hospital, and schools across the city.

Andrea Horwath, the Ontario NDP leader, has been an advocate for implementing community safety zones around hospitals and schools to prohibit protesting within a certain distance since they began happening in August.

Steven Del Duca, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party has voiced his support for the bill, suggesting, even if it’s not implemented immediately, he believes Premier Doug Ford could become amenable to it later on.

The idea for implementing protest-free areas around hospitals and schools was initially brought up when the Province announced the implementation of proof of vaccination in order to access certain, non-essential businesses, and hundreds of people gathered to protest the legislation at hospitals across Ontario.

Many Ontarians, and especially health-care workers, were particularly disturbed by the protests, citing harassment experienced by both patients and staff, as well as protestors blocking access for ambulances.

“The prevailing sentiment is these protests that are targeting hospitals are completely unacceptable. The behaviour is absolutely appalling and we support enforcement officials to take the necessary action required to protect our hospitals and keep our patients and health care workers safe,” Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said of the protests.

During a recent Peel Regional Council meeting, a motion was proposed from Mississauga Councillor Pat Saito urging the Chair to request Ford implement such a measure, which was supported almost unanimously—Mississauga’s Ward 4 Councillor John Kovac abstained, while Brampton’s Ward 9 and 10 Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon initially voted against, before asking to have his voted changed to abstain.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones suggested protests haven’t been sparse across the province, and, while she intends to review bills that get tabled, she emphasized that threatening and intimidation are already criminal offences.

With files from the Canadian Press

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