The Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) say they’ve launched a probe into a lot of social media posts which have criticized and even threatened the bodily hurt of Niagara’s medical officer of well being, Dr. Mustafa Hirji.
The investigation is tied to feedback that popped up on a lot of social platforms Friday and Saturday after Queen’s Park opted to place Niagara within the grey-lockdown degree of the province’s COVID-19 response framework, an motion Hirji publicly supported.
“There may be completely no place for these sorts of threats in Ontario. Reduce it out,” Premier Doug Ford stated in a Tweet in help of Hirji on Saturday afternoon.
“Our well being officers have just one precedence: the well being and well-being of their communities. We’re fortunate to have such devoted public well being officers in Ontario.”
Niagara’s MOH made it recognized days earlier than the Ford authorities’s impending announcement to regularly carry lockdown restrictions that he was encouraging a continued lockdown for Niagara Area.
Hirji posted a seven-part tweet encouraging continued lockdown measures utilizing modelling from the UK, by which a December reopening precipitated a big enhance in instances throughout the nation forcing another full closure simply three weeks later.
“If we carry the lockdown, instances will rise even quicker,” Hirji stated within the submit.
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“Our case numbers are dropping, however they’re nonetheless averaging nicely above the height of the primary wave. Ontario is primed to repeat the errors of the U.Ok. if we don’t study their lesson about reopening.”
On Saturday, a lot of high-profile leaders throughout Ontario and Canada, together with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, got here to the defence of Hirji on social media condemning the current threats.
“I’m outraged to listen to threats have been made in opposition to Dr. Mustafa Hirji, the Medical Officer of Well being for Niagara Area,” Trudeau stated.
“This rhetoric is unacceptable, and I strongly condemn it. He, and all public well being officers working to maintain us secure, deserve nothing however our honest thanks.”
In an announcement launched on Saturday, St. Catharines Mayor Walter Szendzik known as the threatening posts “disturbing” and backed Hirji calling him a “skilled.”
He went on to say he understood what number of had been “actually struggling” amid the pandemic and that the neighborhood “can not afford” to return aside.
Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati known as the disparaging remarks on social media “unacceptable.”
“It’s OK to disagree, however to not disrespect.”
On Saturday night time, Hirji thanked the help he was getting from the neighborhood and stated the “talking up in opposition to violence” was a very powerful message being despatched.
“Likewise, let’s not reject those that oppose my place as a result of just a few went too far,” Hirji stated on Twitter.
“Civil debate on how greatest to handle the pandemic is important — to enhance our response, but additionally to construct shared understanding of the chosen method. We might be calm & civil, however nonetheless disagree.”
The NRPS says they won’t be commenting any additional on the continued investigation.
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