Hillside Centre registered nurses Kelly Priebe (left) and Deb Koopman joined Iain Currie, Green candidate for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo in the 2021 federal election, and others outside Royal Inland Hospital on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 2) in a show of support for health-care workers.
Green campaign volunteer Matt Greenwood said Currie was disturbed by the Sept. 1 vaccination certification protest outside the hospital, as were many health-care workers in the facility, some of whom shared their thoughts on social media.
As a result, Greenwood said, the campaign team decided to relocate its afternoon sign-waving event to in front of RIH for a bit of a love-in, to counter Thursday’s protest rally, with signs showing support for health-care workers. Greenwood said the event was open to all — even other candidates in the federal election.
Following the protest event on Sept. 1, NDP candidate Bill Sundhu issued this statement:
“I wish to express my unwavering support for our frontline health-care workers during a time of increased anger, fear and tension in our communities. I fully acknowledge the daunting work health-care workers have undertaken over the last 18 months and the countless sacrifices they have made to keep us and our communities safe. These professionals are our mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, brothers and sisters — and they deserve our respect, gratitude and thanks for all they are doing to further the cause of public health and public safety. While across Canada, and North America, we see the rise of intolerance and fear, we must meet that surge with love, hope and optimism for a post-COVID-19 future.”
Liberal candidate Jesse McCormick also weighed in with a statement on the protest:
"Frontline healthcare workers deserve our full support and gratitude for their tireless efforts to ensure public health and public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. I support the proof of vaccination requirement to access some events, services and businesses in British Columbia and, as a father and the partner of an emergency physician, I encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. The right to protest is a fundamental freedom but it must be exercised with respect. Frontline healthcare workers must be permitted to conduct their work safely without threat of violence or harm. Vaccination is our best line of defence. We must work together to put communities first and finish the fight against COVID-19."