Over 200 healthcare workers march at Toronto counter-protest

Feb 5 2022, 7:53 pm

Over 200 healthcare workers from across Toronto came together to protect public access to healthcare, calling for “vaccines, not vitriol.” 

They gathered to hold signs and support one another as “Freedom Convoys” continue across the country.

Naheed Dosani, one of the organizers of the event, is a palliative care physician and University of Toronto faculty member. 

He says it has gone smoothly so far, with few disruptions.

They started their march at Queen’s Park and were pleased to be joined by several members of the public.

“There was a sea of people standing together from different healthcare institutions, different disciplines and specialties, really coming together to stand united to ensure our people have access to healthcare when they need it,” he said. 

“Our main message was really that access to healthcare should never be compromised, and I think we conveyed that message loud and clear today.”

The counter-protest was also attended by City Councillor Joe Cressy.

In September, Toronto vaccine passport protestors demonstrated on hospital row. It was smaller than Vancouver’s, which led to an ambulance being blocked from its route, but still condemned by the city’s Mayor.

Dosani adds healthcare workers also got to share the pride they have for their jobs. 

“We refuse to hide our white coats. We refuse to hide our scrubs. We refuse to hide our stethoscopes,” he said.

The event came after healthcare professionals in various provinces were advised not to wear scrubs to avoid being targeted during the convoys — and an enormous freedom convoy in Ottawa.

There are protests — and counter-protests — in Vancouver, Alberta, Quebec, and Winnipeg.

Aly LaubeAly Laube

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