About 300 people came together outside City Hall on Wednesday afternoon for a silent protest in response to the mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers in Alberta and Albertans freedom of rights.
Protesters voiced their displeasure with pandemic protocols and widespread mandates.
The protests come following a recent announcement from Alberta Health Services requiring all employees and contracted healthcare providers – including physicians and other frontline healthcare workers – to be fully immunized for COVID-19, by October 31, 2021.
For attendee Marietta Stump, the reason she came out was to show her support on a personal level in memory of her uncle who recently passed away.
Rallies like this have been happening in Calgary, Edmonton, and Grand Prairie over the past week. These types of protests have come under fire from AHS and the Alberta government as most were taking place outside of hospitals, blocking the entrances for people to enter. In a statement from AHS President and CEO, Dr. Verna Yiu, it reads in part:
“I am proud to live in a country that supports the right to peaceful protest, and I also support the right for people to voice their opinions. However, I was very frustrated that some of those protests turned into personal attacks on our physicians and staff. I am aware of instances where AHS employees were yelled at, and subjected to harassment. Some did not feel safe walking to and from their workplace.”
As for the one in Lethbridge, the group stood in silence for an hour before walking through downtown.
As of Sept. 13, 71.3 per cent of Albertans 12 or older are fully vaccinated.