Skip to content

Sask. approves hospital buffer zones to stop protests

Saskatchewan hospitals will now be able to enforce safe zones against protests, due to new legislation amendments approved today.
regina general hospital
Regina General Hospital, in Regina, Sask. was the one site of anti-COVID protests earlier this year.

REGINA — Saskatchewan has approved legislation to create safe zones around hospitals, to eliminate potential for harassment of staff and visitors from protesters.

The changes are part of several amendments to The Public Health Act approved by officials on Nov. 10, which intend to protect safe access to hospitals for all staff and residents.

The Public Health (Safe Access to Hospitals) Amendment Act now approves the creation and enforcement of a 50-metre safe access zone around hospitals in Saskatchewan, to prevent sidewalk protests that could harass those entering the facilities.

"Patients and families deserve to be able to access health services safely and without facing interference or intimidation," said Health Minister Paul Merriman. "This provision will also support our hospitals and staff in providing health services with safety, dignity and privacy."

Labour picketing will still be allowed within these zones, provided it is considered lawful.

The new legislation is in response to calls from the public after a series of COVID-19 protests around the province that targeted hospital staff and patient visitors. 

The Saskatchewan NDP, alongside some health care workers, called for more protections around hospital grounds to prevent such events in the future back in September.

The safe-zone amendments will expire two years after the legislation comes into force.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks