British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

B.C.’s top doctor continues to face disturbing abuse – including death threats – for her efforts to lead the province through the global pandemic, sparking condemnation by ministers and residents alike.

On Thursday (Feb. 25) Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed some of the “unacceptable” abuse she’s faced from British Columbians over the past year, which has included letters and emails, escalating to more serious threats.

“What I find most disturbing is how it impacts the people I work with and my family and my close contacts and their concerns, so that’s the most challenging piece right now.”

READ MORE: B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

The provincial health officer, who has helped combat Ebola and was on the front lines of the SARS crisis, acknowledged the threats in the same way she’s led more than a hundred conferences over the last year: with kindness and calmness.

“I recognize that when people are in crises, part of the way they respond or react is to lash out or be angry,” she said.

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across B.C. since January 2020 – leading to fan clubs, apparel and even shoes made in her honour.

With ongoing rallies against the current restrictions happening in cities big and small, some have demonized Henry through posters and posts on social media. Most recently, a video showing an anti-masker making violent and harmful comments towards the doctor circulated online.

ALSO READ: Dr. Bonnie Henry’s book on germs re-released with coronavirus introduction

ALSO READ: Group of 38 B.C. church leaders ‘fully support’ Dr. Bonnie Henry

Health Minister Adrian Dix condemned the behaviour during the Thursday briefing, pointing to Henry’s compassion in an unprecedented time.

“Dr. Bonnie Henry is an extraordinary leader and that doesn’t mean she is right all the time – certainly doesn’t mean that I’m right all the time,” Dix said, adding that as someone who meets with Henry every day that “she never loses sight of people in this pandemic.”

On Friday, Premier John Horgan also condemned the attacks, saying there is no place for this kind of hate.

“Your parents should be ashamed of you.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

Tri-Kon will be delivering concrete barriers on Friday afternoon for a patio space that will be shared between Soulfood Farm to Table and Sakura.Trevor Crawley photo.
Outdoor patios in the works for downtown core

Efforts already underway to set up outdoor patios on Baker St. from four local business

The BC Wildfire Service will be conducting an ecosystem restoration burn near the old Kimberley airport next week. BC Wildfire Service file.
Ecosystem restoration burn planned for old Kimberley airport area next week

Burn could begin as early as Monday, April 12, 2021

From wall hangings to plant hangers, keychains and shelves, Radiant Knots creates a variety of pieces to suit for any taste and style.
Cranbrook Arts is Looking Radiant

Cranbrook Arts Featured Artist for the month of April is Radiant Knots.… Continue reading

The Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols put in place by the Provincial Health Officer on Nov. 19. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Interior Health doesn’t echo B.C.’s daily COVID record

80 new cases reported Thursday, April 8, compared to 91 the day prior

The new 6,300 square foot Cranbrook Food Bank facility is located at 1624 Industrial Rd 2 and is open to the public Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
New Cranbrook Food Bank officially open to the public

The new facility is located at 1624 Industrial Rd. 2 and open Monday, Wednesday, Friday

A large illuminated heart was installed on the roof of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital May 1, 2020. (VJH Foundation photo)
Three deaths linked to COVID-19 outbreak in Vernon hospital

Interior Health reports two additional deaths at VJH

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read