There will be a protest in Barry’s Bay against new vaccination policies for healthcare workers.

The protest will take place on Saturday, October 23 at the corner of Opeongo Line and Bay Street. Protest organizers have said the protest is in support of the right for healthcare workers to choose if they want to be vaccinated without the risk of losing their jobs.

Hospitals in Renfrew County require all their workers to be fully vaccinated by October 15th. However, the protest organizers fear this will put a strain on local healthcare institutions like St. Francis Memorial Hospital. They are concerned that this will leave hospitals short-staffed, and will compromise services.

In a statement released by St. Francis Memorial Hospital, they claim that 90 percent of their staff have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Hospital CEO Julia Boudreau says the move shouldn’t affect staffing and that contingency plans are in place. She pledged that programs and services will be maintained, and a safe environment will be ensured for everyone there. The vaccination policy at the location came into effect on September 7th.