News

Published February 13, 2024

Protest outside Mount Sinai Hospital 'reprehensible' show of antisemitism: Trudeau

Toronto

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is denouncing a protest outside a Toronto hospital as a "reprehensible" display ofantisemitism as police say they are investigating several incidents that took place during the demonstration.

The prime minister says in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he "strongly" condemns Monday's protest outside Mount Sinai Hospital.

He says hospitals are "places for treatment and care, not protests and intimidation."

The hospital, located in downtown Toronto, was founded by the Jewish community.

Toronto police, meanwhile, say they are investigating incidents that occurred in front of the hospital and along the protest route, and will have an increased presence along the so-called hospital row area.

Police say officers use their discretion during large demonstrations and even if arrests are not considered a safe option at the time, investigations continue and may lead to charges later.

They said in a statement that interfering with the operations of a hospital is "not acceptable," and urged witnesses to get in touch.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford also criticized the protest, calling it "terrible" and pointing to a federal law that prohibits people from intentionally blocking access to health-care facilities or intimidating health-care workers.

The law was introduced in 2021 as demonstrations opposing COVID-19 policies were held outside health-care facilities across Canada.

"You want to protest? Go to city hall, come down to Queen's Park, jump up and down, do whatever you want," Ford said Tuesday. 

"But don't prohibit people going into a hospital when they're in there saving people's lives, because you never know, you may be the next person in that hospital and they'll be trying to save your life."

Banner image: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Frayer

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 13, 2024.

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