Video: Lawyers Launch Campaign to Protect Civil Liberties in Canada http://cafe.nfshost.com/?p=7091

Video: Lawyers Launch Campaign to Protect Civil Liberties in Canada

By Isaac Teo January 5, 2022 Updated: January 5, 2022 biggersmallerPrint

For Bruce Pardy, law professor and executive director of Rights Probe, it’s important to ensure that people who are suffering the effects of “COVID overreach” from pandemic policies know that they are not alone and that there are still lawyers out there who don’t accept the erosion of fundamental freedoms in Canada.

“When you have been suspended or dismissed from your job, when the government has closed your business, when your kids have been prevented from going to school, or your family has experienced deterioration of physical and mental health, it is natural to believe that your own society has turned against you,” Pardy told The Epoch Times.

Citing how COVID rules “erode civil liberties strategically” by restricting people’s ability to work, shop, travel, and socialize and are mandated by unelected health officials “without public scrutiny or open debate,” Pardy and a team of fellow Canadian lawyers launched the “Free North Declaration” campaign in November, calling for the immediate end of vaccine passports and mandates enforced across Canada.

The lawyers are also calling for a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic and for Canadians to be given back “control of their own lives.”

“We wanted Canadians to know that there are still some lawyers who believe in civil liberties, and do not accept what is happening in this country,” Pardy said. “So far, legal challenges to COVID restrictions have been largely unsuccessful, but it is not for lack of trying.”

As of Jan. 5, almost 500 lawyers and over 60,000 concerned citizens have endorsed the declaration.

On New Year’s Day, Pardy and his team released a video, outlining the current threat and potential solutions, saying that the declaration is an important first step to claim back civil liberties.

Just posted: the Free North Declaration video.https://t.co/Ic52qfoIa2

— Bruce Pardy (@PardyBruce) January 1, 2022

In the video, Pardy tells the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” in which nobody dares to say they can’t see the king’s outfit except for the child who fearlessly blurts out “the king is naked!”

“We’re hoping to be the child in the parade, saying there are no clothes here and we’ve all been subjected to these extreme measures that are really unjustified. And the result of those measures has been to infringe our civil liberties,” he said.

Pardy added that COVID rules have been carefully implemented not to run afoul of the law or trigger protections in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms such as liberty and security of the person, the freedoms of association, assembly, expression, conscience, religion, and mobility rights.

“Where COVID rules appear to have violated the Charter, courts have deferred to the state to take whatever measures it deems necessary, whether demonstrably justifiable or not,” he said.

Christopher Nunn, a lawyer in Simcoe, Ont., who also signed the declaration, said although COVID rules don’t appear to violate civil liberties when viewed individually, they become “very dangerous” when put together collectively.

“They don’t on their own, each one of them, don’t infringe on our liberties, but collectively when you have so many things, and it’s such a gradual, for lack of better terminology, a slippery slope, where we slowly [become] like a frog in water, in the hot water,” Nunn said in the video.

“People are becoming desensitized to all these overreaching measures by the government.”

Legal Community Failing Canadians: Signatories

Signatory Lisa Bildy, a private litigation lawyer in London, Ont, said she noticed how some lawyers have changed their attitude towards the unvaccinated over the past year.

“A year ago, in the legal publications for other lawyers, the discussion was ‘Can employers mandate the vaccines?’ and the consensus seemed to be ‘No, they can’t,’” she said in the video.

“Then suddenly, a year later, the consensus is ‘Yes, they can and they must. And by the way, they should be terminating you for cause.’”

Bildy said those lawyers have done a disservice to people, making their lives “as miserable as humanly possible.”

Signatory Stephen Penney, a corporate lawyer in Cambridge, Ont., said he is frustrated to see people having no one to turn to for legal advice when it comes to COVID restrictions.

“I’ve had many people approach me who are desperate,” Penney said in the video. “They need advice, they need information, they need representation and advocacy, and there seems to be a real lack of that being offered by the legal community generally.”

The lawyers also pointed out in the declaration that the ways COVID rules are applied are “inconsistent and irrational.”

“Authorities enforce them selectively and preferentially, coming down hard on common people while turning a blind eye to the privileged,” the declaration reads.

“Covid vaccines do not prevent people from becoming infected or from transmitting the virus to others, but only unvaccinated persons are banned or required to undergo testing. People who have recovered from Covid and therefore have natural immunity are still subject to vaccination mandates even though the purpose of vaccination is to mimic natural immunity.”

Pardy told the Epoch Times that the public’s response to the campaign so far has been “fantastic and gratifying.”

“Many have said that it has given them hope that we can get our country back. But the message needs to continue to spread, one person at a time,” he said.

The law professor added that citizens must take the task into their own hands to reverse course.

“We hope that people will take inspiration from the declaration, and bravely share their convictions with others. This crisis may not end until a critical mass of people comes together to reject the prevailing narrative and demands a return to individual autonomy and government restraint,” he said.

“Public health authorities have broken our trust, and it is time for them to leave us alone.”

Finally, Some Lawyers Sounding the Alarm About Loss of Freedoms Because of the Medico-Stalinists’ Power Grab During COVID

Civil Litigation

Lawyers across Canada, LSO benchers sign declaration calling for end of vaccine passports, mandates

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 @ 4:01 PM | By Amanda Jerome Share Print Tweet Email
A declaration calling for “the immediate end of vaccine passports and mandates” and a “public inquiry into the handling of all aspects of the declared pandemic” has been launched online, garnering signatures from over 31,000 citizens, including 250 lawyers, across the country.

“We are Canadian lawyers. In our country, civil liberties are under unprecedented attack. Governments, public health authorities, universities, public and private employers, municipalities, and businesses are trampling Canadians’ rights and freedoms. Our free society is at risk,” the Free North Declaration begins.

The declaration launched Nov. 12 by Bruce Pardy, professor of law at Queen’s University, along with Lisa Bildy, Stephen Penney, and Christopher Nunn, has also been signed by 10 Law Society of Ontario (LSO) benchers: Jorge Pineda, Ryan Alford, Murray Klippenstein, Alexander Wilkes, Joseph Chiummiento, Cecil Lyon, Scott Marshall, Cheryl Lean, Gary Graham and Jared Brown. It’s also been signed by Derek Sloan, former member of Parliament and leader of the True North Party of Canada.

Pardy told The Lawyer’s Daily that to date, the declaration has approximately 250 lawyer signatories and a little over 31,000 citizen endorsements.

According to the declaration, COVID-19 rules “restrict citizens’ abilities to work, shop, travel and socialize” and “erode civil liberties strategically, attempting to not run afoul of the law or to trigger protections in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms such as liberty and security of the person, the freedoms of association, assembly, expression, conscience, religion, and mobility rights.”

“Where Covid [sic] rules appear to have violated the Charter, courts have deferred to the state to take whatever measures it deems necessary, whether demonstrably justifiable or not,” the declaration added.

The declaration also claimed that “[I]n our system of law, no principle is more important than the right to control your own body and to make your own medical and health decisions.”

“An anxious populace, swept up in a deliberate campaign of fear, now believes that individual liberties upon which our liberal democracy is founded are dangerous and selfish. A growing collectivism that demands safety at the expense of autonomy shapes public policy,” the statement added.

The declaration noted that “[C]ourts have embraced the pandemic narrative, some taking judicial notice of the nature of risks of the virus and safety of vaccines to adults and children.”

“But the facts are anything but settled. Courts are supposed to be neutral. On Covid, as on any other contentious subject, their mandate is to find facts exclusively upon the evidence adduced by the parties in the courtroom. Instead, courts appear to have taken a side on Covid,” the declaration added, stressing that “[A]ccess to justice and the rule of law are now at risk.”

The statement goes on to explain that unvaccinated persons are “banned from juries, throwing into question the ability of all to obtain a fair trial heard by a jury of their peers.”

“Irrational policies born of panic affect no one more than disadvantaged communities who already suffer from lack of access to justice,” it continued.

The declaration further offered that COVID-19 vaccines “do not prevent people from becoming infected or from transmitting the virus to others, but only unvaccinated persons are banned or required to undergo testing.”

“People who have recovered from Covid and therefore have natural immunity are still subject to vaccination mandates even though the purpose of vaccination is to mimic natural immunity. Governments, public health authorities and employers advise that Covid vaccinations are safe, but pharmaceutical companies have been granted immunity from liability and no employers will accept legal responsibility for side-effects or adverse events, whether minor or serious, suffered by their employees who take a vaccine that they do not want,” the declaration added, noting that the “risks posed by Covid vaccines may be in dispute, but they are not zero. Particularly for children and healthy young adults, they may be riskier than the virus.”

“We fear the erosion of our free society,” the statement expressed.

“We question the single-minded fixation on a virus that poses little risk to most people. We protest the uncalculated harms that Covid policies are causing to people’s health, livelihoods, relationships, and mental states. We oppose the mass hysteria and anxiety that governments and the media are fuelling. Most of all, we object to the deterioration of our civil liberties and the failure of our legal institutions — legislatures, governments, administrative bodies, and courts — to protect them,” it added.

The declaration concluded by calling for “the immediate end of vaccine passports and mandates.”

“We propose a public inquiry into the handling of all aspects of the declared pandemic,” the statement added, noting that “Canadians should have control of their own lives and have the right to make their own decisions about their health, medical treatments, personal information, travels, and associations.”

Bruce Pardy: B.C. courts asking for ‘correct pronouns’ is state-mandated identity politics

Bruce Pardy: B.C. courts asking for ‘correct pronouns’ is state-mandated identity politics

Author of the article:Bruce Pardy, Special to National PostPublishing date:Feb 09, 2021  •  2 hours ago  •  4 minute read

On December 16, the B.C. Supreme Court issued a practice direction that directs parties and counsel to provide their “correct pronouns” to be used in the proceeding. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG
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When courts issue practice directions, usually only litigation lawyers pay attention. No one else needs to know when counsel should wear gowns or how commissioners should be identified on affidavits. But recently, the British Columbia Supreme Court issued a direction like no other. Practice Direction 59, released on December 16, advises parties and their lawyers, when introducing themselves in court, to provide their “correct pronouns” to be used in the proceeding. People look to courts to protect their fundamental freedoms, but in B.C., the courts themselves now encroach upon freedom of speech by expecting litigants to use pronouns that their opponents prescribe.

The previous month, a judge of the Court gave a preview of the implications. The Court was hearing the case of a 17-year-old who wanted to transition from female to male. The father and provincial authorities supported a plan to have an operation to remove both of the teen’s breasts, but the mother had brought an action trying to prevent it. The mother regarded the teen as a girl, and it was the transition to male that was the very issue before the court. Yet the judge challenged the right of the mother and the mother’s counsel to refer to the teen as “her”. According to the transcript, the judge said, “there has been a request that counsel refer to (the youth) as he or him … are you refusing to do that?” Translation: You may be arguing that your client’s daughter should remain a girl, but please acknowledge that he is a boy.

The practice direction, along with an almost identical notice applicable to B.C. provincial courts, was the product of consultation with the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community (SOGIC) of the Canadian Bar Association (B.C. chapter). One of its purposes, according to announcements, is to improve experiences within the legal system for gender diverse parties and lawyers. The direction does not merely clarify that parties and their counsel may advise the court of their pronouns — litigants were free to do that before the direction was issued — but that they may require other parties to comply. By making declared pronouns “correct”, the direction makes other pronouns, by default, incorrect.

Under the direction, correct pronouns are “to be used” in the courtroom. Even identifying your own pronouns is compulsory. Any parties or lawyers who decline to do so will be prompted by a court clerk. While practice directions do not constitute the law in the same sense as statutory enactments and regulations, they do reflect the Court’s expectations on practice and process. Besides, the last thing litigants wish to do is irritate their judge. For practical purposes, the practice direction is the law inside the courtrooms of British Columbia.

People are apt to believe that the law will protect them from the irrationality of mobs. They may think that courts are in the business of assessing evidence and applying laws to facts, and that they will be neutral in every dispute, insulated from the influence of politics. Instead, B.C. courts are insisting that litigants say things they may not believe. They validate subjective identities of parties by legitimizing the proposition that everyone must declare their own pronoun that other people must use.

When Jordan Peterson objected to the proposal to add “gender identity or expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act in 2017 on the grounds that people could be required to use prescribed pronouns, he was ridiculed for scaremongering. Only a handful of lawyers agreed with him, or at least few said so publicly. We were derisively told that this and similar provisions in provincial human rights codes would have no effect upon free speech, notwithstanding the advice of the Ontario Human Rights Commission that “refusing to refer to a trans person by … a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity … will likely be discrimination” in employment, accommodation, and education. Now prescribed pronouns have become compulsory in British Columbia courts too.

Proponents of the practice direction argue that using a person’s personal pronoun is merely to treat that person with respect, and that doing so should be regarded as part of a lawyer’s professional responsibility to be civil in the courtroom. However, when courts enforce prescribed pronouns, they are not merely requiring civility but taking sides in a legal, political, and philosophical dispute. To compel pronouns is to insist that people can own and control how others regard them, and to force them to reflect a particular view of reality.

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The agenda is to force social change by making dissent illegitimate. Last week, when Canadian Lawyer Magazine published an opinion piece by B.C. lawyer Shahdin Farsai critical of the direction, an enraged mob of social justice lawyers descended, threatening over social media to boycott the magazine and demanding retraction. The editors obliged, removing the article and pleading that it “did not reflect the views” of the magazine, as though that has ever been the criterion for publishing op-eds. Such is the present state of open debate on these issues within B.C.’s legal community.

Free people make their own choices. Women are at liberty to have their breasts removed and identify themselves as men if that is what they want. But true freedom is universal and reciprocal, and other people are not bound to go along. They may express their reactions in their own words and refer to others as “him” or “her” as they see fit. No one should be obligated to affirm someone else’s self-image.

Reciprocal freedom is not now what we have. Today’s “human rights” put words in the mouths of some for the benefit of others. The Supreme Court’s practice direction represents state-mandated identity politics on the road to perdition. Social justice activism has captured the courts of British Columbia.

Bruce Pardy is professor of law at Queen’s University

Captain Airhead Strikes Again!

THE CANADIAN RED ENSIGN

The Canadian Red Ensign

SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 2017

 

Captain Airhead Strikes Again!

It has been almost two years since a gullible Canadian electorate was duped into giving the Liberal Party a majority government in the last Dominion election. This means that that government, headed by Captain Airhead, is approaching the half-way point in its four year mandate. It has recently been reported that the Grits have passed less than half the legislation in that time than the previous Conservative government had. This is not surprising. The Prime Minister has been far too busy flying around the world, handing out money, and looking for photo-ops, all at the taxpayers’ expense, to actually do the job of governing the country. John Ibbitson, writing in the Globe and Mailmade the observation that “the amount of legislation a Parliament creates matters less than the quality of that legislation.” As true as that is, the quality of the bills the Trudeau Grits have passed is enough to make one wish that they had, the moment they were sworn in, called a term-length recess of Parliament and sent every member on a four-year paid Caribbean vacation.

One example of this is Bill C-16, which passed its third-reading in the Senate on Thursday, June 15th and which was signed into law by the Governor-General on Monday, June 19th. Bill C-16 is a bill which amends both the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. To the former it adds “gender identity or expression” to the list of grounds of discrimination prohibited by the Act. To the latter it adds the same to Section 318, the “hate propaganda” clause of the Code. The Canadian Human Rights Act and Section 318 of the Criminal Code were both inflicted upon us by the present premier’s father in his long reign of terror and it would have been better had the present Parliament passed legislation striking both out of existence rather than amending them to increase the number of ways in which they can be used to persecute Canadians. When, a century and a half ago, the Fathers of Confederation put together the British North America Act which, coming into effect on July 1, 1867, established the Dominion of Canada as a new nation within what would soon develop into the British Commonwealth of Nations, their intention was to create a free country, whose citizens, English and French, as subjects of the Crown, would possess all the freedoms and the protection of all the rights that had accumulated to such in over a thousand years of legal evolution. The CHRA and Section 318 do not belong in such a country – they are more appropriate to totalitarian regimes like the former Soviet Union, Maoist China, and the Third Reich.

The CHRA, which Parliament passed in 1977 during the premiership of Pierre Trudeau, prohibits discrimination on a variety of grounds including race, religion, sex, and country of origin. It applies in a number of different areas with the provision of goods and services, facilities and accommodations, and employment being chief among them. Those charged with enforcing this legislation have generally operated according to an unwritten rule that it is only discrimination when whites, Christians, and males are the perpetrators rather than the victims, but even if that were not the case, the very idea of a law of this sort runs contrary to the basic principles of our traditional freedoms and system of justice. It dictates to employers, landlords, and several other people, what they can and cannot be thinking when conducting the everyday affairs of their business. It establishes a special police force and court – the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal respectively – to investigate and sit in judgement upon those private thoughts and prejudices. Those charged do not have the protection of the presumption of innocence because the CHRA is classified as civil rather than criminal law.

There are more protections for defendants under Section 318 because it is part of the Criminal Code but it is still a bad law. Incitement of criminal violence was already against the law long before Section 318 was added. It is not, therefore, the incitement of criminal violence per se that Section 318 was introduced to combat, for the existing laws were sufficient, but the thinking and verbal expression of thoughts that the Liberal Party has decided Canadians ought not to think and speak.

Bill C-16 takes these bad laws and makes them even worse. By adding “gender identity and expression” to the prohibited grounds of discrimination the Liberals are adding people who think and say that they belong to a gender that does not match up with their biological birth sex to the groups protected from discrimination. Now, ordinarily when people think they are something they are not, like, for example, the man who thinks he is Julius Caesar, we, if we are decent people, would say that this is grounds for pity and compassion, but we would not think of compelling others to go along with the delusion. Imagine a law that says that we have to regard a man who thinks he is Julius Caesar as actually being the Roman general! Such a law would be crazier than the man himself!

Bill C-16 is exactly that kind of law. Don’t be fooled by those who claim otherwise. The discrimination that trans activists, the Trudeau Liberals and their noise machine, i.e., the Canadian media, and everyone else who supports this bill, all want to see banned, is not just the refusing of jobs or apartments to transgender people but the refusal to accept as real a “gender identity” that does not match up with biological sex. Dr. Jordan Peterson, a professor at the University of Toronto who has been fighting this sort of nonsense at the provincial level for years, and who testified against the Bill before the Senate committee that reviewed it, has warned that it could lead to someone being charged with a “hate crime” for using the pronoun – “he” or “she” – that lines up with a person’s birth sex, rather than some alternative pronoun made-up to designate that person’s “gender identity.” Supporters of the bill have mocked this assertion but we have seen this sort of thing before – progressives propose some sort of measure, someone points out that the measure will have this or that negative consequence, the progressives ridicule that person, and then, when the measure is passed and has precisely the negative consequences predicted, say that those negatively affected deserved it in the first place.

Indeed, progressive assurances that Peterson’s fears are unwarranted ring incredibly hollow when we consider that the Ontario Human Rights Commission has said that “refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity” would be considered discrimination under a similar clause in Ontario’s provincial Human Rights Code, if it were to take place in a context where discrimination in general is prohibited, such as the workplace. Bruce Pardy, Professor of Law at Queen’s University, writing in the National Post, explains that this new expansion of human rights legislation goes way beyond previous “hate speech” laws in its infringement upon freedom of speech. “When speech is merely restricted, you can at least keep your thoughts to yourself,” Pardy writes, but “Compelled speech makes people say things with which they disagree.”

It is too much, perhaps, to expect Captain Airhead to understand or care about this. Like his father before him – and indeed, every Liberal Prime Minister going back to and including Mackenzie King – he has little to no appreciation of either the traditional freedoms that are part of Canada’s British heritage or the safeguards of those freedoms bequeathed us by the Fathers of Confederation in our parliamentary government under the Crown. For a century, Liberal governments have whittled away at every parliamentary obstacle to the absolute power of a Prime Minister backed by a House majority. The powers of the Crown, Senate, and the Opposition in the House to hold the Prime Minister and his Cabinet accountable have all been dangerously eroded in this manner. Last year the present government attempted to strip Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition of what few means it has left of delaying government legislation. The motion in question was withdrawn after the Prime Minister came under strong criticism for behaving like a spoiled, bullying, petty thug in the House but it revealed his character. These Opposition powers are a necessary safeguard against Prime Ministerial dictatorship but Captain Airhead, the son of an admirer of Stalin and Mao, regards them, like the freedoms they protect, as an unacceptable hindrance to his getting his way as fast as he possibly can. Years ago, George Grant wrote that the justices of the American Supreme Court in Roe v Wade had “used the language of North American liberalism to say yes to the very core of fascist thought – the triumph of the will.” This is also the modus operandi of Captain Airhead and the Liberal Party of Canada.