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Statement from Burlington’s Community Leaders in Support & Protection of our Frontline Healthcare Staff & First-Responders from Abuse & Harassment

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*Please see below a joint statement issued by Burlington’s Community Leaders in support of frontline healthcare workers.

Burlington, Ont. — Sept. 8, 2021 — We would like to take a moment to thank our frontline hospital and health workers, physicians and first-responders for your sacrifices throughout this pandemic and going above and beyond every day to keep us safe. We stand with you, and know that in these times of increasing volatility, our healthcare professionals and first-responders need to see our community’s support once again.

Recently, there have been protests held outside of the Joseph Brant Museum, adjacent to Joseph Brant Hospital, and other healthcare settings throughout the province and country, as well as at the private residences of elected officials. We support everyone’s right to peaceful protest, even when we do not agree on the subject matter; however, recent protests have included harmful messages, harassment and misinformation targeted against our medical and healthcare professionals, resulting in emotional distress and moral injury.

This type of protest undermines the hard work and sacrifices of hospital staff, physicians and first-responders over the past year and a half and as we head into the fourth wave of this pandemic, driven by the Delta variant.

We condemn, in the strongest of terms, this targeted and misdirected abuse and harassment of healthcare workers that has occurred during these recent protests. To protestors: Please take your messages to the decision-makers at City Hall, Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill, and away from our hospitals and the private homes of our community leaders. We also ask you to be considerate of those who need access to our hospital for life-saving treatments and those visiting their loved ones.

Healthcare workers do not make policy.

To our local hospital and healthcare professionals and first-responders: Please know there is an overwhelming majority in our community who support you and the enormous sacrifices you have made and continue to make during this pandemic. We’ve publicly shown our support and appreciation for your sacrifices by standing outside of our homes, on our balconies and on sidewalks applauding you through the FrontLine Clap; holding drive-by parades of emergency vehicles and elected leaders in front of Joseph Brant Hospital; lighting our pier blue and posting countless messages of support on social media. Additionally, the Burlington Pier will be lit blue tonight through to Sept. 10 (and Sept. 17-18; Sept. 22-23) in support of our healthcare and frontline workers.

You have all gone above and beyond every day, putting yourselves in harm’s way to keep us safe. We are immeasurably grateful for your continued strength, perseverance, and commitment to caring for the people that you serve. Please know that we acknowledge and appreciate the positive difference that you are making in the lives of all your patients, their families and our community members.

We thank you and we stand with you!

Sincerely,

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, City of Burlington

Tim Commisso, City Manager, City of Burlington

Eric Vandewall, President & CEO, Joseph Brant Hospital

Gary Carr, Halton Regional Chair

Karen Roche, Fire Chief, Burlington Fire Department

Kimberly Watson, Director of Museums, Museums of Burlington

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600