It's now illegal to intimidate healthcare workers, patients in Canada
A new law has now come into effect across the country, making it illegal to intimidate doctors, nurses, and patients.
Update: It is now illegal to intimidate doctors, nurses, and patients – or to obstruct them from providing care or seeking treatment – as our government’s legislation to criminalize this behaviour comes into force today. We’ll continue to have the backs of health care workers.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 16, 2022
A motion to make amendments to the Criminal Code, among other things, was brought forward late last year and included the following:
- Create an offence of intimidating a person in order to impede them from obtaining health services, intimidating a health professional in order to impede them in the performance of their duties or intimidating a person who assists a health professional in order to impede the person in providing that assistance;
- Create an offence of obstructing or interfering with a person’s lawful access to a place at which health services are provided, subject to a defence of attending at the place for the purpose only of obtaining or communicating information; and
- Add the commission of an offence against a person who was providing health services and the commission of an offence that had the effect of impeding another person from obtaining health services as aggravating sentencing factors for any offence.
As of today,
It is illegal to intimidate doctors
It is illegal to intimidate nurses
It is illegal to intimidate patients,
It is illegal to obstruct them from providing care or receiving it.
This law was passed unanimously in the House of Commons, and it comes into force today. pic.twitter.com/A53E52p2ho
— Seamus O’Regan Jr (@SeamusORegan) January 16, 2022
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The amendments were passed unanimously in the House of Commons and the law took effect on Sunday, January 16.