Niagara Regional Police in Ontario say they’re investigating after the area’s top doctor was allegedly threatened over COVID-19 restrictions.
Police mentioned on Saturday they’re investigating the alleged threats in opposition to Dr. Mustafa Hirji, the area’s performing medical officer of well being, that have been posted on social media.
Meanwhile, Hirji has welcomed the outpouring of help he is obtained. Several individuals, together with Ontario Premier Doug Ford, have condemned the alleged threats and voiced their help for Hirji.
“I’m deeply humbled by the volume & breadth of support,” Hirji wrote on Twitter.
“More importantly, I’m gratified that so many are speaking up against violent language — such discourse corrodes our unity,” he wrote.
“The excessive anger of a few today should not distract from the suffering of many during this pandemic — of social isolation, of loss of income, of losing a business built through a life’s work.”
Thanks to everybody for his or her phrases of help this night, together with the <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeStandWithDrHirji?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#WeStandWithDrHirji</a> tag. I’m deeply humbled by the amount & breadth of help. More importantly, I’m gratified that so many are talking up in opposition to violent language—such discourse corrodes our unity. 1/6
The alleged threats have been posted on Facebook on Friday — the identical day the Ontario authorities introduced that the stay-at-home order will be lifted in 27 extra public well being models this coming week, transferring the areas again to the colour-coded framework for COVID-19 restrictions.
Niagara was the one area to be positioned within the gray lockdown class, the place retail companies are allowed to reopen with strict capability limits, however most different issues are required to remain closed.
“We are aware of the social media posts in reference to Dr. Hirji that have been reported in the media,” the Niagara Regional Police Service mentioned on Twitter.
“We have commenced an investigation. We will not be commenting any further at this time regarding that investigation.”
We are conscious of the social media posts in reference to Dr. Hirji which have been reported within the media. We have commenced an investigation. We won’t be commenting any additional at the moment concerning that investigation.
Death threats should not be tolerated, OMA says
The Ontario Medical Association has “strongly condemned those making death threats against public health officials.”
In a press release despatched to CBC News, the OMA mentioned, “Death threats and all forms of violence must not be tolerated here, or anywhere. We have seen where hatred takes us.”
The Ontario Medical Association strongly condemns these making deaths threats in opposition to public well being officers who’re attempting to maintain our communities secure. <a href=”https://t.co/kiRpUYUtFr”>pic.twitter.com/kiRpUYUtFr</a>
The affiliation mentioned that for greater than a 12 months, Ontario’s medical doctors and public well being officers have made monumental sacrifices, taken dangers and labored across the clock to maintain Ontarians secure.
“Let’s not lose sight of our responsibility to take care of each other. Ontario’s doctors call on everyone to work together to keep our patients, families and communities safe,” the OMA mentioned.
No place for these sorts of threats: premier
“There is absolutely no place for these kinds of threats in Ontario. Cut it out.” Ford tweeted on Saturday.
“Our health officials have only one priority: the health and well-being of their communities. We’re lucky to have such dedicated public health officials in Ontario.”
There is completely no place for these sorts of threats in Ontario. Cut it out. <br><br>Our well being officers have just one precedence: the well being and well-being of their communities. We’re fortunate to have such devoted public well being officers in Ontario.<a href=”https://t.co/MhyFDy82kS”>https://t.co/MhyFDy82kS</a>
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned he’s outraged to listen to in regards to the alleged threats.
“This rhetoric is unacceptable, and I strongly condemn it,” he tweeted.
Health officers criticized, threatened
Last November, the medical officer of well being in Windsor-Essex mentioned he was a sufferer of on-line bullying after receiving threatening messages about his dealing with of COVID-19, which has prompted him to file complaints to police.
Dr. Wajid Ahmed received candid in regards to the messages he and others at the well being unit have obtained because the pandemic started. While he mentioned he is been a sufferer of bullying earlier than, it is solely elevated in latest months.
“We have received many threatening letters to the health unit and also emails, which is, again, all understandable. People are frustrated, people are upset … it is common, people are doing that, especially this time around, especially when everyone is suffering from impacts of COVID,” Ahmed mentioned.
“The message we want to share is it’s not OK to bully anyone.”
In April 2020, a federal Conservative management candidate prompt Canada’s chief public well being officer is working for China and needs to be fired for giving dangerous recommendation to the federal government on the COVID-19 disaster.
Derek Sloan, an MP from jap Ontario, posted a message and video on Facebook and Twitter claiming that Dr. Theresa Tam had “failed Canadians.”