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Legislation might arrive to protect healthcare workers from protesters

Premier John Horgan spoke at a news conference addressing many of the issues BC is seeing, one of them being the protests that have popped up at schools and hospitals.

“I’m hopeful that we’ve seen the last of that type of behaviour, but we want to ensure that doesn’t happen again. And we are working, the Attorney General and the Solicitor General, on legislation, or perhaps policy changes to existing regulations to protect workers, and those who are accessing those services, whether it be kids in our schools or patients at our hospitals,” said Horgan.

“I think all British Columbians are perplexed that people who have a different point of view, a minority view, would choose to disrupt children in education settings or patients in healthcare settings to get their point across.”

Horgan also talked about the shortage of healthcare workers in BC, adding that they are always looking to address labour market shortages.

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“In order to provide services for people in healthcare, you need healthcare providers. That means you have to train them, you have to pay them, and you have to make sure you don’t burn them out. And most importantly, going back to one of the earlier questions, you have to make sure people don’t go to their place of work and yell at them.”

“We’ve had a shortage of nurses for many, many years now. We’ve opened a new nursing school in Kamloops, we’re trying to train more nurses,” added Horgan.

Nurses in Northern Health have been protesting and advocating for safer work conditions, claiming their overtime averages have increased by 78% during the pandemic.

Horgan then spoke on the vaccine card, saying that businesses that were trying to fight the enforcement of the vaccine card should want the larger, vaccinated population to come to their establishment.

“For those who want to skirt the rules, either by disregarding the passports as a provider of non-essential services, there will be consequences for that.”

Horgan said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave him a commitment to speak on the Canada Health Transfer and expects that meeting to happen soon.

He added that he also thinks the housing market can be resolved if the Federal Government gets involved in a meaningful way.

Horgan also spoke on the Naloxone shortage for law enforcement in the province and said that the stock is depleted, and the Minister of Finance, as well as the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, are aware of it, and they are trying to get more.

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