November 29, 2021
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg MB— Today, for the fourth time, NDP House Leader Nahanni Fontaine, introduced legislation that would protect Manitobans from harassment while accessing reproductive healthcare facilities. Fontaine also reintroduced a bill to create a protest buffer zone around healthcare facilities to stop antivaccine protesters from intimidating and bullying Manitobans accessing healthcare.
“No one in this province should have to face harassment and intimidation to access healthcare,” said Fontaine. “And yet that’s precisely what’s happening because the PCs refuse to protect Manitobans. Whether you are a nurse trying to get to work, or a pregnant person accessing reproductive healthcare, you deserve a government that does everything it can to protect you. Premier Stefanson and her government need to stop voting down these bills so Manitobans can safely access healthcare in any place, at any time.”
Bill 203, the “Abortion Protest Buffer Zone,” would create a buffer zone around abortion clinics and healthcare facilities that would prevent ant-choice protests from shaming, harassing and intimidating people accessing health care and health care providers. Bill 204, the “Protest Buffer Zone Act (COVID-19 restrictions),” would create buffer zones around hospitals as well as COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites.
Fontaine noted Prime Minister Trudeau promised to introduce federal legislation to criminalize protests at hospitals in his recent Throne Speech. She said enhanced criminal consequences, combined with a provincial crack down on COVID protests will mean Manitobans can access hospitals without fear. British Colombia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan have all either passed or brought forward similar legislation.
“Our NDP team won’t give up on these bills,” said Fontaine. “I will keep introducing them until they pass because everyone in Manitoba deserves safe and barrier-free access to healthcare.”