The health care union seeks legal advice after members were injured outside the leaders’ debate on Monday

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The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents 60,000 healthcare workers, says the issue is not just about defending union members, but also “the rights of people to protest safely in a free and democratic democracy.” opened “.

The union representing health care workers in Ontario has retained legal counsel and is exploring all options after two of its members were injured while protesting outside the provincial leaders’ debate on Monday night.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents 60,000 healthcare workers, says the issue is not just about defending union members, but also “the rights of people to protest safely in a free and democratic democracy.” opened “.

“When women and men on the front lines of care are injured in a peaceful protest, we really have to ask ourselves what happens to our province,” SEIU President Sharleen Stewart said in a statement. “We will not be intimidated as we stand up for their safety and security and a strong public health system for workers and patients.”

The union says about 200 registered nurses were protesting the Ford government’s law that caps their annual salary at one percent a year outside the venue of the provincial leadership election debate. They say two members were “met with force” as police tried to clear a path for PC leader Doug Ford as he got out of his campaign bus to take part in the debate. A nurse was pushed onto the sidewalk while another nurse was injured after being dragged on the asphalt, according to the union.

A provincial police spokesperson told CityNews individuals were attempting to block access to the facility where the debate was being held and, unlike a peaceful protest, blocking access is not a legal activity.

“For the safety of all present, individuals were moved aside, during which one fell to the ground. The individual was taken to hospital for evaluation and was later released.

Police said no charges were filed in connection with the event.

Stephanie DiGiuseppe, a lawyer at Ruby Shiller Enenajor DiGiuseppe, says everyone has the right to protest “without fear of reprisal or violence”.

“The police and the government have a duty to ensure that nurses and their fellow Canadians can safely participate in legitimate protest activities.”

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