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Friday, September 24, 2021

Do we need laws preventing protesters from blocking hospitals?

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TORONTO — Earlier this week, both the Liberals and New Democrats promised to bring legislation that would make it illegal for protesters to block hospital entry, but legal experts say those laws already exist.

On Monday, several anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown rallies were held outside healthcare facilities across Canada, which prompted widespread condemnation and promises from both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to make these kinds of activities illegal.

CTV News’ Richard Madan spoke to several legal experts on Tuesday, who said the kinds of laws both the Liberals and NDP are promising already exist and it’s the governments and police who aren’t enforcing them.

The experts said the possible charges could include assault, uttering threats or mischief.

“We see it when someone runs on the field of a baseball game, they’re hauled off the field and charged with mischief, because they interrupted that baseball game for everyone else,” Daniel Brown, lead counsel at Daniel Brown Law LLP in Toronto, told CTV News.

“It’s no different when you block the entrances of a hospital. You simply can’t do that.”

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