The bullying of public health officials in Canada must stop immediately.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, this worrying phenomenon has escalated. What began as online harassment has evolved into threats and in-person intimidation. We have seen protests at the private residences of Saskatchewan’s chief medical officer of health and Quebec’s National Public Health Officer.
We must speak out against such intimidation, whether online or in-person, and urge those responsible for overseeing social media platforms and law enforcement bodies to put an end to this highly alarming conduct. Peaceful protests are an important feature of our democracy, but these recent demonstrations have crossed a crucial line between free speech and willful intimidation.
Public health officials and health care workers in Canada have been working tirelessly — under stressful and very challenging conditions — since the beginning of the pandemic to keep Canadians healthy and safe. They deserve nothing short of our full appreciation and respect.
These disquieting acts of aggression must not be tolerated.
Dr. Ann Collins