'Disgraceful': 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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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

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

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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