Planned protests at Ontario hospitals this week including RVH

Toronto ICU physician says hospitals are not the place for protests

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie is on a list of hospitals across Canada where demonstrations are expected to take place this week.

A group called Canadian Frontline Nurses (CFN) is organizing the protests that will be held on Monday. Five hospitals in Ontario have been selected including those in Barrie, Toronto, Ottawa, London and Sudbury.

Organizers say the protests will be silent vigils.

“This will be a silent vigil to honour those affected by measures put in place over the last year and half,” CFN says on its website. “Our cries and concerns have been ignored for too long. Please join us in creating a memorial tribute, by bringing flowers, pictures, cards, letters to share stories in honour of those affected.”

“Share your loss and grieving, to bring out the truth on what is happening across Canada and why we are taking a stand to tyrannical measures and government overreach.”

There was a protest against mandatory vaccines outside RVH earlier this month, on the same day the Ford government unveiled a plan for vaccine certificates.

Protest outside Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre – September 1, 2021

The President of the Ontario Hospital Association slammed the protests that took place on September 1.

In a statement two days later, Anthony Dale called the demonstrations “truly disheartening” while noting that most of the participants at the Toronto hospitals were not healthcare workers.

“By denying the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines they also inflicted moral injury on healthcare workers who are working tirelessly on the frontlines caring for patients sick and dying from this dangerous virus,” he said. “It is a bitter irony that should any of these anti-vaccine protesters get sick or seriously ill from COVID, it will be hospitals and frontline workers that they turn to for care, perhaps even to save their life.”

“It is a bitter irony that should any of these anti-vaccine protesters get sick or seriously ill from COVID, it will be hospitals and frontline workers that they turn to for care, perhaps even to save their life,” Dale said.

In a video posted to Twitter, Dr. Michael Warner, a Toronto ICU physician, said people are entitled to protest, but hospitals are not the place to do it.

“It’s where people go for safety, for protection, for treatment for love, for peace and sometimes for death,” Warner said.

“They’re not the place to be yelling and screaming and intimidating, especially when so many people on the other side of the doors of those hospitals are suffering from the disease that certain people refuse to get vaccinated for.”

The protests were also criticized by the Canadian Medical Association and the Ontario Medical Association in a joint statement.

“The healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly for months on end are being bullied and harassed for doing their jobs. This is wrong and unacceptable – full stop. We are in a health crisis of unprecedented proportions,” the statement said.

“In medicine, we rely on scientific facts, evidence and rigorous research. The pandemic has only underscored the importance of these principles. We have contained COVID-19 outbreaks, treated patients, and developed life-saving vaccines.”