Richmond Hill, Ontario — SEIU Healthcare, a union that represents 60,000 healthcare workers in the province of Ontario, has retained Ruby Shiller Enenajor DiGiuseppe (RSED) LLP to explore all legal options to defend union members who sustained injuries at Monday’s leaders’ debate and for the rights of people to safely protest in a free and open democracy.

About 200 registered practical nurses peacefully gathered outside the location of the provincial leaders’ debate to exercise their freedom of expression and send a message of abandonment towards the anti-worker policies of Doug Ford, like denying healthcare workers the ability to bargain essential mental health support and the lack of safe jobs that worsens the care delivery crisis in Ontario.

“Healthcare workers in Ontario are struggling to keep up and get by and it sickens me to see how nurses are treated when they speak truth to power,” said Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare. “When women and men on the frontline of care are injured at a peaceful protest, we really need to ask ourselves what is happening to our province. SEIU Healthcare will always defend the rights of our members. We are exploring all legal options available because we will not be intimidated as we advocate for their safety and security and a strong public healthcare system for workers and patients.”

“Every Canadian has the right to engage in peaceful protest without fear of retaliation or violence,” said Stephanie DiGiuseppe, partner at RSED. “Police and government have a duty to ensure that nurses and their fellow Canadians can safely engage in legitimate protest activities. We look forward to working with SEIU.”

Ruby Shiller Enenajor DiGiuseppe, Barristers is a civil rights-focused litigation boutique located in Toronto. RSED has a strong history of advocacy in support of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and police accountability, including championing legal challenges to police violence at Toronto’s 2010 G20 Summit Protests.