Following a number of anti-COVID-vaccine protests over the past month, the BC government announced Monday that they will be introducing legislation to prevent such mobs from disrupting hospitals and schools.
While many British Columbians critical of the province's vaccine and mask mandates have voiced their concerns respectfully, others have gone to more extreme measures to get the point across. In September, a large group of protestors made their way up to Vancouver General Hospital, gathering right outside the building. While the protest did not result in any medical disruptions, many feared it could spur a dangerous trend.
At another protest, this time in Salmon Arm, people allegedly made their way into local schools. According to CTV News, the buildings had to be placed under "hold and secure" measures for the rest of the day.
"I think all British Columbians are perplexed," said Premier John Horgan, "that people who have a different point of view–a minority view–would choose to disrupt children in education settings or patients in health-care settings to get their point across."
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced Monday that measures to protect hospitals and schools would be introduced via legislation sometime during the BC legislature's session, which ends in November.
Over in Ontario, the provincial NDP and Liberals have expressed interest in similar legislation. As Global News reports, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath made clear that she thinks healthcare workers should not fear "walking into a gauntlet of hate and vitriol" as they go to work.
Liberal Leader Steven del Duca has said he supports the idea of "safety zones," and will help the NDP pressure Premier Ford's conservatives to adopt such measures.