Halton Elected Officials Endorse Calls for Safety Zones around hospitals

By: Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative
Halton elected officials are endorsing calls for safety zones around hospitals in order to protect patients, visitors and staff.
The support follows a protest September 8 at Joseph Brant in Burlington.  Protesters marched on the grounds at the Joseph Brant Museum spreading what community leaders describe as misinformation, as well as an anti-mask message.
Halton elected officials released a statement partly addressing the protesters.  “We know they join in our respect for everyone’s right of peaceful protest.  We know they also believe protests must not take place in locations or in ways that could impede access to essential care,” they said.  The statement was signed by councilors in Milton, Oakville, Burlington, and Halton Hills.
Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath has proposed to create safety zones around hospitals and businesses for protection against anti-vaccination protests.   “The growing number of scary anti-public health protests targeting hospitals should be enough to get Doug Ford to come back to work and jump into action,” she said.  Horwath’s proposed legislation includes making targeted harassment within safety zones punishable by a fine of up to $25,000.  The Legislature is on summer break until October 4, 2021.