The event was part of coordinated demonstrations taking place across the country, arranged under the auspices of Canadian Frontline Nurses. The group, according to their website, advocates medical freedom and are against vaccination mandates.
It’s not clear how many demonstrators at the Saskatoon event were front-line nurses.
Reporters approached a woman carrying a sign stating RNs (registered nurses) were against mandates. She declined to be interviewed. Another woman wearing scrubs identified herself as a health-care worker but said she wasn’t a front-line nurse. She also declined an interview.
One speaker at the event repeatedly made debunked claims about masks, vaccinations and COVID-19, which has killed more than four million people around the world, to the applause of many of the people gathered together.
A hospital security officer estimated the number to be between 200 and 250.
Global News only saw hospital security remain at the event.
A spokesperson for the Saskatoon Police Service, in a statement, said both uniformed and plain clothes police personnel have been in attendance observing the protest.
“A lack of visible police presence would not be an accurate representation of our total involvement,” Joshua Grella wrote, stating the response was developed in consultation with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and hospital security.
The SHA did not immediately respond to questions about how disruptive the event was for health-care workers and patients inside the hospital.
The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, a national nursing union body representing more than 200,000 nurses across the country, in a statement said it is not affiliated with Canadian Frontline Nurses in any way.
“Throughout the pandemic, the CFNU has always stood on the side of science. We have consistently advocated for evidence-based public health measures to stem the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, masking and vaccination,” the statement read.
“The vast majority of nurses in this country have seen first-hand the devastating effects of COVID-19 and understand that the only way out of this pandemic is through social distancing, masking and vaccination.”
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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