Manitoba’s Department of Health condemns the announcement of a vaccination order outside the Health Science Center which says protesters angrily harassed patients and staff for wearing masks.
Twelve people were at a Winnipeg hospital on Wednesday afternoon to protest what they called human rights violations.
Some protesters placed signs opposing vaccines and at one point, they went out into traffic – preventing vehicles from passing.
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The Department of Health says some patients have opted to cancel appointments instead of approaching demonstrators standing near the door.
“We have heard from staff and patients who are experiencing difficulty accessing our facility or who are severely persecuted for wearing masks,” they said in a statement sent to the media.
“While we respect the freedom of individuals to oppose public health authorities, we urge them to do so in a peaceful manner that does not impede access to medical care.
“People with immunization concerns are also encouraged to talk to their doctor or health care provider.”
It’s not just publicity in recent days.
Over the weekend, nearly 1,000 people violated public health laws in Stanley’s Rural District, south of Winkler.
Winkler Mayor Martin Harder told the 680 CJOB vaccine controversy has divided his community, and while frustrated by the low vaccination rate and its urban status “at the bottom of the comedy bar” in Manitoba, he felt sorry for local business owners who are fighting restrictions.
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Mayor Winkler said the method of punishment against vaccine opponents did not work
“I think one of the reasons why depression has reached its present stage is because we don’t have anyone here to listen,” he said.
“The question I asked yesterday at the meeting we had – and we have all the restaurant and gym owners in town – was‘ Why the conference in Winkler? What should we do differently than that which is authoritative? ‘
And the answer is simple, ‘You’re the first stop I can go to because no one listens.’ ”
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Harder said the food industry, in particular, has been hit hard, with many changes to COVID-19 regulations throughout the pandemic, and that people in the area — business owners and staff alike — are tired of jockeying back and forth between finding or closing work, open or closed.
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It’s something you’ve been hearing from your communities, with concerns from those residents favoring the restrictions, which is a delicate balance practice, he said.
“As with any political office these days, it is not a popular place to be – on the one hand, (you) are not enough for those who get vaccinated, you are not promoted enough… and on the other hand, too much. He wonders how guilty he is of things he has no control over.
“The conference is very similar – I can’t change the rules. Maybe in the heart of people, they hope I have that power… I don’t know I do. But we will do the best we can. ”
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