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

Michael Colmant, a former manager of Abbotsford International Airport, was killed in a hit-and-run in Washington state while he was riding his bicycle.
Abbotsford man dies in hit-and-run while cycling in Washington

Seattle police still searching for driver of vehicle that killed Michael Colmant

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
IIO investigating after man seriously injured by police dog during Abbotsford arrest

Independent Investigations Office looking into incident from March 6 in 3700 block of Davie Street

A pack of three T-Rexes were reportedly seen shopping near Winners at the Junction Shopping Centre in Mission. Facebook photo / Carla Jayne.
Pack of T-Rexes spotted prowling, shopping in Mission

Sightings may confirm recent fossil evidence suggesting that tyrannosaurs lived in packs

Westbound Highway 1 traffic near Herrling Island is backed up a long way following a vehicle incident. (Photo/Trish Dunbar)
Pedestrian killed in crash near Herrling Island

Woman in her 50s struck by moving van

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Welcome to your park sign marks the spot where 84th Avenue will continue east from King George Boulevard to 140th Street as part of a $13 million road project. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road Rage: Opposition mounts anew to Surrey’s Bear Creek traffic plan

Same place, same project, same fight as Surrey prepares once again to connect 84th Avenue between King George and 140th Street in Newton

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Fire consumed a condo development project under construction at 208th Street and 80th Avenue Monday night. Many spectators shared their images. (Daniel Gerstner/Instagram: @gerstner/Special to Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: Elementary school closed as Langley deals with aftermath of massive condo fire

Firefighters remained on scene at 208th Street and 80th Avenue for much of Tuesday night

Most Read