MONTREAL – Quebec Premier François Legault said Tuesday that it is “unacceptable” that people have been protesting recent vaccine passports outside hospitals and schools, adding the province is turning to legislation to end these demonstrations. can be done.
While thousands of people have filled the streets of Montreal and other Quebec cities to protest the public health measure, only a fraction of those crowds showed up in hospitals and schools over the past few weeks.
About a dozen protesters showed up at Glen Hospital on Deckery Blvd. On September 13, a far cry from the thousands that passed through the center of the island at the beginning of the month.
Still, protesters are also showing up in schools and allegedly harassing students, with the premier saying he is considering an additional measure to keep health care workers and youth safe.
There would be legislation to create a safe zone around such a building, as introduced by Quebec in 2016 to prevent demonstrations within 50 meters of abortion clinics.
“We are not ruling out anything,” Legault said Tuesday in a press scandal at the National Assembly.
“In fact, it may be a special law that we’re looking at, if we have the right, if we can.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, too, promised during the election campaign that he would introduce legislation that would make it illegal for protesters to block access to hospitals, following several protests across the country.
But experts have come out saying those laws already exist in the criminal code and that the police, in some cases, are not enforcing them.
“It is unacceptable to have anti-vaccination protesters in front of our schools, in front of our hospitals,” Legault said on Tuesday. “I can’t stand it.”
Following his remarks, Education Minister Jean-François Robert, who previously said Louis-Riel was “outraged” by protesters at the high school, tweeted on Tuesday, “Let’s leave the students out of these protests!”
Already this school year, there have been five anti-vaccination demonstrations near schools in Montreal, according to Liberal education critic Marwah Rizki, who said they were filmed by children screaming and demonstrators.
In the National Assembly on Tuesday, he suggested that a short-term solution would be to obtain an injunction whenever a protest is announced on social media.
“We can’t just tweet our outrage anymore, we have to take action,” she said from her seat in the Blue Room. “We have to protect the kids before they get out of hand.”
More protests are being planned in Montreal and elsewhere, with Facebook events describing them as demonstrations against “dictatorial governments” and their “Nazi passports”.
–With files from Canadian Press