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Alberta hospitals to be protected from protests, blockades under Critical Infrastructure Defense Act

Hospitals will soon be protected from protests and blockades. Premier Jason Kenney announced Tuesday that hospitals and certain health care facilities will be classified as essential under the Critical Infrastructure Defense Act.

Railways, highways, and pipelines are also protected under the act. Kenney says recent protests at hospitals have revealed the need to keep health-care workers safe and to make sure Albertans can receive critical care when they need it.

“All Canadians have the right to peaceful protest, but blocking ambulances and preventing people from getting treatment is definitely not peaceful,” he says. “Law enforcement is now fully empowered to make sure hospitals and health facilities are safe.”

Fines for contravening the act range from $10,000 to $25,000 with the possibility of jail time. The province says the regulation is expected to come into force soon, with the exact date to be known within the coming days.

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