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McDonald to anti-vaxxers: Protest at City Hall. Leave the kids alone

'I believe targeting families just trying to keep their families safe through the pandemic, is not right or just'
20210827 Al Mcdonald  Jim Chirico
North Bay Mayor Al McDonald speaks at a press conference outside the North Bay Parry Sound District Unit in late August. File photo by Chris Dawson/BayToday.

North Bay's Mayor along with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit have both reacted to the news of a disturbing protest which took place outside of a children's COVID-19 vaccine clinic at One Kids Place in North Bay on Sunday. 

Abby Blaszczyk told BayToday that she, her mother, and two children were yelled and screamed at by anti-vaccine protesters in the parking lot who accused her of poisoning and murdering her children by getting them vaccinated. 

See related: Local woman outraged by kids vaccine protest

North Bay Mayor Al McDonald believed the protesters crossed a line. 

"While I respect everyone's right to protest, I believe targeting families just trying to keep their families safe through the pandemic, is not right or just," said McDonald in a message to BayToday.  

Instead, McDonald suggests they protest at City Hall. 

"Instead of protesting at kid's treatment centres or vaccination clinics, I invite them to come to City Hall and protest here," he said.  

"I hope this incident does not discourage individuals or families from getting the vaccine. Further, I encourage everyone that is able to get vaccinated asap and anyone that is hesitant to get vaccinated to speak with a medical professional to get the correct information and advice."

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit also released a statement relating to the kid's vaccine clinic protest.  

"Although some individuals may wish not to be vaccinated, it is important to respect the decisions and safety of those who have made an informed decision and are choosing to be vaccinated," the Health Unit stated.

"The Health Unit recognizes the right to peaceful demonstration, however, intimidation and harassment of young children and their families attending vaccine clinics are unacceptable forms of protest. The Health Unit is working closely with local police and security firms to increase safeguards for both clients and staff.  We are determined to continue to provide opportunities for children and their family members to be vaccinated."

The NDP in Ontario is calling on the Ford government to pass safety zones legislation to protect people from this kind of harassment.

See related: NDP demands safety zone legislation to protect against anti-vaxxers

North Bay Police Inspector Jeff Warner says police did respond to calls regarding the protest and he says they plan to release a statement regarding children's vaccine protests later today.  

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