NDP, Liberals to propose legislation to create safety zones around hospitals, schools

Both the Ontario NDP and the Liberals are set to introduce bills to create safety zones around institutions such as hospitals and schools to protect them from anti-vaccine harassment.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says health-care workers shouldn’t have to be worried about “walking a gauntlet of hate and vitriol” on their way into work to save people’s lives.

She says she is glad the Liberals “jumped on board” with her idea, which she first raised in August, in response to what she called organized campaigns to target small businesses implementing public health measures.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones says Ontario has seen limited protests, and workers have not been blocked from entering those spaces “to any large degree.”

She says she will look at the bills that get tabled, but notes that threatening and intimidation are already criminal offences.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca says even if the government says right now it doesn’t support the creation of safety zones, it’s important to keep pushing because Premier Doug Ford has reversed his position on many other measures throughout the pandemic.

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