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Sask. approves protest buffer zones for schools prior to youth vaccine program

Like hospitals, schools will now have a 50-metre buffer zone where protesting will not be allowed, said the province.
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Saskatchewan approved legislation to protect schools from protestors this week, similar to previous approval to protect hospitals.

REGINA — The Government of Saskatchewan has introduced new legislation to create protest buffer zones around schools, similar to those passed earlier this month protecting hospitals.

The new legislation creates a 50-metre safe access zone around schools, as well as allowing regulation-making authorities to extend those zones up to 150 metres.

These safety zones mirror those put in place on Nov. 10 around hospitals, to protect staff, patients and visitors following alleged harassment earlier this year by anti-COVID protestors.

"Similar to the protections provided for patients, staff and families accessing our hospitals it is important that our children, parents, teachers and staff are able to access schools in the province without fear of interference or intimidation," said Education Minister Dustin Duncan . "In particular it is important to ensure our children do not feel scared or threatened."

The provincial government said that the safe zones are meant to protect teachers, staff and students accessing schools, especially as the province prepares it's vaccine rollout for children 5-11 years old.

Much like the hospital legislation, lawful labour picketing will be allowed inside the safe zones and these provisions will expire in two years.