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‘Disgraceful’: Concerns raised over threats targeting Dr. Bonnie Henry

Click to play video: 'Concerns raised over threats targeting Dr. Bonnie Henry' Concerns raised over threats targeting Dr. Bonnie Henry
There are new concerns about the safety of B.C.'s provincial health officer in light of threats and anger directed at her and her staff by those unhappy with the ongoing pandemic restrictions. Nadia Stewart reports. – Feb 26, 2021

B.C.’s top doctor said threats she has received due to provincial COVID-19 restrictions have taken a toll on those around her.

“It really is not acceptable and what I find most disturbing is how it impacts the people I work with,” she said at a press conference on Thursday.

Click to play video: 'How is B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry handling threats and personal attacks?' How is B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry handling threats and personal attacks?
How is B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry handling threats and personal attacks? – Feb 25, 2021

In September, Henry said she had to have security in her home and had been targeted with death threats, along with abusive letters and phone calls to staff.

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Since then, B.C. has seen tighter COVID-19 restrictions that have been met with public protests, many of which featured signs and messages targeted at Henry.

Read more: Dr. Bonnie Henry says she’s received death threats during B.C’s COVID-19 response

Henry revealed the signs and sentiments have affected her and her family.

“I recognize that when people are in crises, part of the way they respond to react is to lash out,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Concerns about spread of misinformation at Vancouver ‘Freedom Rally’' Concerns about spread of misinformation at Vancouver ‘Freedom Rally’
Concerns about spread of misinformation at Vancouver ‘Freedom Rally’ – Feb 20, 2021

Health Minister Adrian Dix had stronger words.

“These are unacceptable comments, disgraceful comments, and I condemn them utterly,” he said.

Dix called for an end to the vitriol targeted at Henry, hoping the discourse can become more productive.

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“We need to have a slightly more respectful debate,” Dix said.

Click to play video: '‘It’s absolutely inappropriate. Your parents would be ashamed of you’: B.C. premier on threats made to Dr. Bonnie Henry' ‘It’s absolutely inappropriate. Your parents would be ashamed of you’: B.C. premier on threats made to Dr. Bonnie Henry
‘It’s absolutely inappropriate. Your parents would be ashamed of you’: B.C. premier on threats made to Dr. Bonnie Henry – Feb 26, 2021

Clinical psychologist Joti Samra said people in decision-making positions find themselves in a no-win situation during times like these and society has a responsibility to call out bad behaviour and set boundaries.

Read more: B.C. ‘not quite there’ on easing restrictions, reports 395 COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths

“We have a right, all of us as individuals, to hold whatever opinion we hold, but we do not have a right to cross boundaries and lead people to be bullied or harassed or intimidated or fearing for their personal safety,” she said.

B.C.’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 1,348.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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