Doctors group condemns protest at home of Saskatchewan chief medical health officer

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REGINA — An association representing doctors in Saskatchewan is denouncing a weekend protest staged outside the home of the province's chief medical health officer.

Police in Regina say officers responded to a report of a demonstration at Dr. Saqib Shahab's house on Saturday, and stayed until a small group of protesters left.

Premier Scott Moe called those who participated idiots, and directed anyone upset with the Saskatchewan Party government's response to COVID-19 to contact his office or a provincial representative.

The Saskatchewan Medical Association in a statement is also calling out the protesters.

Its president says the demonstrators' behaviour amounted to harassment and intimidation of Shahab, who is a member of the association.

Police continue to review what happened to decide next steps.

“Bringing a protest to Dr. Shahab’s private residence is absolutely unacceptable, and the SMA condemns these actions,” association president Dr. Barb Konstantynowicz said in the statement Monday.

Moe has asked police to investigate whether the protest broke any laws, including breaches of any public health orders.

The Ministry of Justice says 28 charges have been laid under the Public Health Act since the end of last year.

A spokeswoman says five of the charges have led to convictions and two of the fines have been paid.

Thirteen are pending a court date. The ministry says the others were either withdrawn or jurisdiction was lost.

"The agency responsible for prosecuting a ticket decides whether it should proceed or not. That may be a police agency or a prosecutions service. A ticket may not proceed for several reasons," spokeswoman Margherita Vittorelli said in an email.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press