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Anti-vaxxers, anti-vaccine passport demonstrators protest across Canada

Protesters holding signs
Max Schulte
Protesters also took to the sidewalks in front U.S. hospitals Monday, including here in Rochester.

Anti-vaccine and anti-vaccine passport demonstrators took place across Canada on Monday, most of them targeting hospitals. At least five Ontario hospitals were targeted by protesters, including one in downtown Toronto.

Toronto General is one of the city’s busiest hospitals. Dozens of people came out to rally there against what organizers described as tyrannical measures and government overreach.

Police were on hand and had warned protest organizers that any attempt to interfere with the coming and going of healthcare workers and patients or to disrupt the work inside could lead to arrests.

One of the organizers, former nurse Sarah Choujonian, said the protest was also to support healthcare workers.

“We’re also here at the hospital because we want to show support for the nurses inside who are being coerced to take the jab or lose their job and are being censored," Choujonian said.

Dr. Michael Warner, an ICU physician at Micheal Garron Hospital, said he doesn’t dispute people’s right to protest, but not in front of hospitals.

"Speak to the people who can make decision and make policy changes if you don’t like them," Warner said, "but leave us alone and leave our patients alone. It’s not a rational, fair or safe or moral thing to do.”

In a joint press release from 11 of the largest municipalities in the Toronto-Hamilton area, Toronto Mayor John Tory said the protest was unacceptable, adding that it’s inconceivable that anyone could be that irresponsible or misdirected. Ontario Premier Doug Ford called the protests "selfish, cowardly and reckless."

"Our health care workers have sacrificed so much to keep us all safe during this pandemic," Ford said. "They don’t deserve this kind of treatment — not now, not ever. Leave our health care workers alone."