A Vindictive Crown Thwarted in Attempt to Revoke Tamara Lich’s Bail for Accepting Free Speech Award

A Vindictive Crown Thwarted in Attempt to Revoke Tamara Lich’s Bail for Accepting Free Speech Award

Chalk up a small but important victory for free speech. Bail is supposed to help ensure that the accused will appear for trial and will not commit the alleged offence prior to trial. All too often in Canada, it is used as a way to gag a dissident prior to trial, which might be many months away. After initially being denied bail for a non-violent offence (counselling  mischief), Lich was granted bail in March, but on condition that she leave Ontario (be out of Dodge by sunset) and not access social media. When the Crown learned she was to receive the George Jonas Freedom Award from the Justice Centre for Constitutional  Freedom, it was outraged. Canada’s increasingly politicized justice system was furious that a person they\d condemned to be a pariah and non-person was to receive a public honour and award. They sought to have her thrown back in prison — but we support democracy in the Ukraine, right? Her lawyers sought to amend her bail conditions. Today, Tamara Lich escaped prison and has some of her freedoms back. Nevertheless, she still is gagged and banned from the social media.

Paul Fromm

Director,

Canadian Association for Free Expression

‘The courts are not a thought police,’ judge says in Tamara Lich bail review decision

The ‘Freedom Convoy’ organizer is again allowed to enter Ontario, but remains restricted from using social media. Author of the article: Aedan Helmer Publishing date:

A judge's ruling has kept in place a ban on Tamara Lich using social media while she awaits trial.
A judge’s ruling has kept in place a ban on Tamara Lich using social media while she awaits trial. Photo by Errol McGihon /Postmedia

Tamara Lich will not be sent back to jail as a judge lifted her ban from entering Ontario, but ruled to reinforce her ban from social media in a bail review decision Wednesday.

“The courts are not a thought police,” Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips said as he rejected the Crown’s arguments that Lich should have her bail revoked over alleged breaches of her release conditions.

“We seek only to control conduct to the extent that certain behaviour will violate, or likely lead to violation of the law,” the judge continued. “Here, the objective was to keep a highly problematic street protest from reviving or reoccurring … No court would ever seek to control the possession or manifestation of political views.”

The Crown had argued that Lich breached the condition that bars her from supporting “anything related” to the “Freedom Convoy” when she accepted the 2022 “George Jonas Freedom Award,” which she is set to receive in a June 16 gala in Toronto hosted by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

Lawrence Greenspon, Lich’s lawyer, said the judge’s ruling would allow his client to travel to Toronto to accept the award in person, and he confirmed she also intended to attend similar gala events in Calgary and Vancouver, where VIP tickets cost $500.

In a phone interview following the decision, Greenspon applauded the judge for “soundly rejecting” the Crown’s efforts to send Lich back to jail.

“From our perspective, this was a clear rejection of the Crown’s attempt to reincarcerate Ms. Lich for agreeing to accept a ‘freedom award,’ and, in light of this decision, she’s going to be able to go to Toronto and accept that award without fear of being reincarcerated.

“That’s a great relief to her,” Greenspon said. “This effort to reincarcerate her … the battle of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly … that battle will be fought at trial.”

The JCCF, a vocal supporter of the demonstration, issued a statement following the decision saying the revised bail conditions “still excessively restrict” Lich’s Charter rights, while saying the Crown went to “troubling” lengths to revoke her bail.

Phillips also lifted Lich’s ban from entering Ontario in his revised bail plan and lifted her ban on entering the city of Ottawa, except for the geographical boundaries of the city’s downtown core.

A publication ban protects the reason Lich is seeking permission to return to Ottawa, and Phillips said he saw no issue with Lich attending a gala in Toronto months after the convoy had ended.

“The right between attendance at that function and problematic support for a demonstration that will, by then, have been long over, is so indirect as to be barely perceptible,” Phillips said.

He decided to uphold Lich’s ban from social media, however, ruling the original March 7 court order was “warranted and appropriate.”

“In a very real way, social media undoubtedly contributed to, and even drove the now-impugned conduct, and Ms. Lich staying away from it is necessary to lower the risk of reoffence to an acceptable level,” Phillips ruled.

“Social media can be a problematic feedback loop where people get egged-on and caught up by group activity they would never perform on their own,” Phillips intoned.

He warned Lich to avoid the temptation posed by social media and cited her “susceptibility to getting caught up in the sort of toxic groupthink that animated the crowd back in February.”

Lich was arrested Feb. 17 and is jointly charged with fellow protest organizer Chris Barber with mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation.

She was initially denied bail on Feb. 22, though that decision was overturned by Superior Court Justice John Johnston on March 7 and Lich was released from jail with a list of conditions. She was ordered to return home to Medicine Hat, Alta., where she must live under the supervision of a court-approved surety, and she is barred from contacting a list of fellow protest organizers. She remains banned from social media and cannot allow anyone to post on her behalf.

Assistant Crown Attorney Moiz Karimjee presented arguments during last week’s two-day bail review alleging Lich had broken two of her release conditions, first by accepting the “freedom award” and again by accepting a convoy-themed pendant as a gift from a supporter, who then posted a photo of Lich proudly wearing the necklace. The social media post identified Lich as the “brand ambassador” for the pendant.

Phillips on Wednesday said the Crown failed to prove those breaches.

The judge accepted Lich’s testimony that she saw no “live connection” between accepting the pendant — or accepting the award — and her support for the “Freedom Convoy.”

“I believe Ms. Lich when she says she does not see her acceptance of this award to be any sort of support for the ‘Freedom Convoy,’ because that initiative is over with,” the judge said. “I specifically reject the idea that she is responsible for what someone else did with a photo of her wearing a pendant.”

Lich has lived in her community for a “meaningful stretch” and demonstrated she can follow bail conditions, the judge said.

The Charter has not stopped Canada’s slide toward tyranny — John Carpay, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms http://cafe.nfshost.com/?p=7554

The Charter has not stopped Canada’s slide toward tyranny

Posted On: April 13, 2022

John Carpay, The Post Millennial

April 17, 2022, will mark the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms becoming part of Canada’s Constitution. The Charter reduced the sovereignty of Parliament by giving judges far more power to strike down laws as unconstitutional.

Prior to 1982, courts could strike down federal laws for violating provincial jurisdiction, and strike down provincial laws for violating federal jurisdiction. But apart from enforcing the proper division of powers between two levels of government, court rulings that invalidated legislation were exceedingly rare. Prior to 1982, Canadians who disagreed with a law essentially had only one recourse: using the democratic process to change or repeal the law which they deemed to be bad. With the Charter, Canadians could, in addition to using the democratic process, try their luck at challenging a law in court, by arguing that the law violated one or more of the fundamental freedoms of conscience, religion, expression, association and peaceful assembly, or other Charter rights and freedoms.

It all sounds wonderful, of course. But section 1 of the Charter has proven repeatedly to be a rotting fly in the ointment of the intended civil liberties medicine. Section 1 permits politicians to trample on Canadians’ Charter rights as long as the government’s lawyers can concoct a justification which will thereafter persuade a court that the violation was “reasonable” in a free and democratic society. As the Judicial Freedom Index makes clear, some judges trust politicians and admire governments a great deal, while other judges are more sympathetic to individual freedom.

Canadians who assert their Charter rights will typically have to wait for years before a court rules on whether the government’s violation is “reasonable.” Long waits are caused primarily by Canada having too few courts and too few judges. During the years that it takes to litigate a case, governments typically continue on their merry way of violating citizens’ rights and freedoms. Armed with easy access to billions of tax dollars, governments lack the incentive to obtain rulings quickly. The shortage of judges and courtrooms further enables governments to delay a speedy resolution of Charter claims. Justice delayed is justice denied.

All constitutions claim to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens.

The 1977 Constitution of the Soviet Union is only one example. As a workers’ paradise, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was so wonderful that the communists made it illegal to leave and move to another country. Article 50 guaranteed citizens “freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly, meetings, street processions and demonstrations.” Article 51 enshrined “the right to associate in public organizations that promote their political activity and initiative and satisfaction of their various interests.”

Article 52 guaranteed “freedom of conscience, that is, the right to profess or not to profess any religion, and to conduct religious worship or atheistic propaganda.” Article 55 guaranteed the inviolability of the home: “No one may, without lawful grounds, enter a home against the will of those residing in it.” Article 56 exalted “the privacy of citizens, and of their correspondence, telephone conversations, and telegraphic communications” while article 57 declared that “citizens of the USSR have the right to protection by the courts against encroachments on their honour and reputation, life and health, and personal freedom and property.”

It all sounds wonderful, of course. But the Soviet Constitution severely limited citizens’ rights “in accordance with the aims of building communism” (Article 51).

The Constitution explained that the citizen of the classless communist society must be “moulded.” Article 39 specified: “Enjoyment by citizens of their rights and freedoms must not be to the detriment of the interests of society or the state” as determined by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Article 6).

The utopian goal of communism and the utopian goal of a world with no Covid: both ideologies have been used to trample human rights and constitutional freedoms into the ground.

Canada’s federal and provincial politicians should be embarrassed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Charter on April 17. No provincial premier has actually apologized for the repeated and flagrant violations, since March of 2020, of citizens’ freedoms to move, travel, associate, assemble, worship, and exercise control of their own bodies by deciding what medical treatments they will or will not receive. Federally, Parliament’s Liberal-NDP majority imposes unscientific discrimination against the “misogynist, anti-science, racist, extremists” who have not received two Covid shots, in spite of the fact that vaccinated Canadians get the virus and spread the virus.

Our Charter at 40 has not prevented us from moving rapidly towards a tyrannical system in which Canadians are slaves of the state. More and more, Canadians are managed and controlled by politicians and bureaucrats in ways similar to how farm animals are managed and controlled by the farmer. Ultimately, Canada’s survival as a free society that respects the dignity of every human being depends not on the Charter or on how courts interpret it, but on the extent to which Canadians truly cherish our freedoms, and are willing to suffer and sacrifice for them.

The charter that defends rights, but also tells government how to quash them http://cafe.nfshost.com/?p=7550

The charter that defends rights, but also tells government how to quash them

Not everyone is inclined to cheer the charter as a bulwark of liberty. ‘We are less free today than 40 years ago,”’ said John Carpay, president of the JCCF Author of the article: Tristin Hopper Publishing date: Apr 15, 2022  •  April 15, 2022  •  7 minute read  •  91 Comments

The notwithstanding clause is how provincial governments can consistently maintain legislation, such as Quebec's Bill 21, that are a pretty obvious curb on fundamental freedoms.
The notwithstanding clause is how provincial governments can consistently maintain legislation, such as Quebec’s Bill 21, that are a pretty obvious curb on fundamental freedoms. Photo by Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia/File
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The decision was a surprise to Canadians, where any number of similar challenges had failed.

Time after time during the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian governments imposed extraordinary public health measures that seemed to be naked infringements on Canadians’ charter rights. Mandated church closures that violated protections on “freedom of religion.” Bans on gatherings that curbed “freedom of association.” Border and travel strictures that undermined charter guarantees on mobility rights.

But the courts didn’t care. Whenever a pandemic case hit the docket, courts “erred too far on the side of deferring to government,” Joanna Baron, the executive director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, told the National Post.

Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of Canada repatriating its constitution, a process that included passage of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The charter has often been praised as one of Canada’s leading modern accomplishments and its “gift to the world.” But it’s also one of the world’s only constitutions that explicitly gives the state a roadmap on how to quash the very “fundamental freedoms” it cites. It’s why, four decades in, not everyone is inclined to cheer it as a bulwark of liberty.

“I cannot think of any freedom … that the charter has brought to us,” said John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a group that has been particularly active in challenging pandemic mandates and defending the organizers of Freedom Convoy. “We are less free today than 40 years ago,” he said.

If governments are looking to do an end-run around charter-enumerated rights, there are two primary sections of the document they turn to. Section 1, which is literally the first line of text in the charter, explicitly states that rights and freedoms are protected in Canada only to “reasonable limits.”

According to an official government of Canada guide to the charter, the purpose of this section is to remind Canadians that “rights can be limited by law so long as those limits can be shown to be reasonable in a free and democratic society.”

The notwithstanding clause allows provincial governments to knowingly pass legislation that treads on a fundamental freedom.

If such a legislative override had existed in the U.S. Constitution, many of the most iconic Supreme Court decisions of the civil rights movement might not have mattered. Brown vs. Board of Education — the 1954 decision that struck down school segregation — could simply have been ignored by states invoking the notwithstanding clause.

In Quebec, it’s how provincial governments can consistently maintain legislation that are a pretty obvious curb on fundamental freedoms. Bill 21, a provincial law passed in 2019, bars government employment to any Quebecer who wears religious garb such as turbans or hijabs. Any charter challenge against Bill 21 would likely be a slam dunk on the “freedom of religion” clause, but Quebec would simply be able to soldier on with the law by invoking the notwithstanding clause.

Justice Centre launches legal action on behalf of Maxime Bernier against Feds’ vaccine mandates

Justice Centre launches legal action on behalf of Maxime Bernier against Feds’ vaccine mandates

Posted On: February 10, 2022

OTTAWA: The Justice Centre will file today a legal application in Federal Court, for judicial review of federal mandates which prevent Canadians who are not “fully vaccinated” from travelling by air. The Honourable Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, is being prevented from fully participating in his political role by Orders issued by Transport Canada, under instructions of the Prime Minister.

With implementation of these Orders, Mr. Bernier is restricted in participating in democratic discussions and the electoral process. As the leader of the fifth largest political party in Canada, in 2021, Mr. Bernier flew more than 79,000 km for work purposes. As a party leader, Mr. Bernier is required to reach thousands of people each year and to participate in various political, intellectual and charitable activities in all regions of the country. Travel other than by air is only reasonably feasible within a relatively limited radius of his residence in Quebec.

On October 30, 2021, the federal government announced that anyone travelling by air, train, or ship, must have received two of the Covid shots. The travel vaccination mandate has prevented approximately six million unvaccinated Canadians (15% of Canada’s population) from travel within Canada, and prevents them from flying out of Canada. Canadians cannot travel to help sick loved ones, to get to work, to attend university, to visit family and friends, to take international vacations, and to live ordinary lives like other citizens.

The Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation due to Covid-19, No. 53 was first implemented January 28, 2022. With few exceptions, the Order prohibits persons who are not “fully vaccinated” from travelling by air. In the opinion of the Justice Centre, this results in discrimination and a clear violation of the constitutionally protected rights of Canadians.

Besides the Charter providing mobility rights that allow Canadians to freely enter and leave the country, and travel unhindered between provinces, the Charter also guarantees citizens equal access to political institutions, public debate and the electoral process.

“The Covid-19 zealots are attempting to gag dissenting voices like mine by any means possible. One such tactic is to prevent people from meeting and organizing politically. The courts must put an end to this segregation,” says Mr. Bernier.

“The mainstream media give me almost no air time. I have to go and meet people all across Canada to keep my party growing and get the word out. If I have to travel the equivalent of fourteen times the distance from Victoria to St.John’s in a year, I’m certainly not going to do it by car or bike,” he adds.

Mtre Samuel Bachand, primary counsel for the Justice Centre in Québec, notes, “Democracy is not the property of the vaccinated, nor is it some kind of reward for well-behaved children. All Canadians, of all political affiliations, must be free to travel. Canada is the only country in the developed world that has banned vaccine-free travellers from air travel, and yet we are supposed to be one of the most democratic countries in the world,” concludes Mtre Bachand.

_____________

Covid restrictions are gone or will soon disappear in all provinces. They’re also gone in most countries.

But one government still keeps all its covid measures in place: The Trudeau government.

The totally unfair and unjustified vaccine mandates for federal employees and federally regulated industries are still in place.

And although the Liberals announced this week that they’re dropping the useless pre-arrival test for vaccinated travellers entering the country, the most important travel restriction will remain:

Unvaccinated Canadians still cannot board a plane, a boat or a train to travel in Canada or to other countries.

There is no indication the government is planning to drop this restriction any time soon.

Trudeau said we are racist and misogynistic. He despises us. He simply wants to persecute us, even if it has no effect on covid prevention whatsoever.

As the leader of a national party, I am not allowed to fly to meet Canadians in other provinces.

This is essential to do my job properly. In 2021, I flew 79,000 km to attend rallies all over the country.

That’s why I’m suing Ottawa, thanks to the help and support of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

This week, I filed my affidavit that explains why this restriction is particularly discriminatory in my case. You can read about it in this report in the Western Standard.

The virus is mostly gone, but the fight for our freedoms continues!

Please help us fight for the rights of all Canadians, vaccinated and unvaccinated, with a $5 donation today!

Many thanks,
-Max


EXCLUSIVE: Post-jail interview with Pastor Tobias Tissen

EXCLUSIVE: Post-jail interview with Pastor Tobias Tissen

Unfortunately for Pastor Tobias and The Church of God Restoration in Steinbach, they are still subject to a court appearance which should take place on November 4.

Pastor Tobias Tissen is amongst the many pastors recently arrested here in Canada. This disturbing trend can be seen coast to coast, from the recent arrest of Pastor Phil Hutchings in New Brunswick, to the arrests of pastors Tim StephensJames Coates and Artur Pawlowski in Alberta.

Luckily today we’re not here to bring you the story of a man behind bars, as Pastor Tobias Tissen has been released after spending roughly 45 hours in custody.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-x

Though this is good news for the Manitoba minister, it is not without any drawbacks.

Pastor Tobias was able to negotiate the conditions of his release, meaning while he’s not able to incite, organize, or invite anyone to an event that contravenes COVID-19 health regulations, he is able to perform regular church services alongside his duties as a pastor.

Unfortunately, Pastor Tobias and The Church of God Restoration in Steinbach are still subject to a court appearance, which is expected to take place on November 4. At that time, we will find out what happens in regards to the $1-million ticket that could be handed out.

Pastor Tobias is being represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

While Pastor Tobias is being defended by lawyers from the JCCF, a number of other pastors — and Canadians across the country — are being represented through FightTheFines.com, where Rebel News viewers can crowdfund the legal fees to help defend civil liberties — and get a charitable tax receipt while doing so, from our partners The Democracy Fund.

https://www.rebelnews.com/exclusive_post-jail_interview_with_pastor_tobias_tissen?utm_campaign=sf_tobiasint_10_28_21&utm_medium=email&utm_source=therebel

U.S. senator Josh Hawley wants Canada on religious freedom watch list over pastor COVID-19 arrests

U.S. senator Josh Hawley wants Canada on religious freedom watch list over pastor COVID-19 arrests

Bob Weber The Canadian Press Published 2 days ago Updated 2 days ago Comments Text Size % buffered 00:00

Supporters gather outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church appears in court after he was arrested for holding Sunday services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Stony Plain, Alta., on Feb. 24, 2021. JASON FRANSON/The Canadian Press

A U.S. senator has asked that Canada be investigated for violating religious freedom over the arrests of Alberta pastors accused of flouting COVID-19 restrictions.

In a letter released Thursday, Missouri Republican Josh Hawley asked his country’s Commission on International Religious Freedom to consider putting Canada on its special watch list.

“I am troubled that our Canadian neighbours are effectively being forced to gather in secret, undisclosed locations to exercise their basic freedom to worship,” Mr. Hawley wrote.

“Frankly, I would expect this sort of religious crackdown in Communist China, not in a prominent western nation like Canada.”

Judge dismisses charter application of Alberta pastor on trial for violating health orders

Mr. Hawley refers in his letter to the arrests of Alberta pastors James Coates and Tim Stephens.

Mr. Coates spent a month in the Edmonton Remand Centre after he violated a bail condition not to hold church services that officials said were ignoring COVID-19 measures on capacity limits, physical distancing and masking. He was released March 22 after pleading guilty and was fined $1,500.

Mr. Coates, who is a pastor at GraceLife Church in Spruce Grove, has argued provincial regulations meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 infringed on his and his congregants’ constitutional right to freedom of religion and peaceful assembly.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled his religious freedoms under the Charter were not violated.

Mr. Stephens remains in remand after being arrested last week following repeated public complaints over an outdoor service that officials say broke public-health orders. Calgary police and Alberta Health Services allege that Stephens of Fairview Baptist Church chose to keep holding services without respecting orders on physical distancing and capacity limits, even after his church had been twice ordered closed.

Litigation director Jay Cameron of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which is representing Mr. Stephens, has accused Alberta Health Services in a statement of being “engaged in an intentional act of public deception and abuse of authority in arresting pastor Stephens and others.”

COVID jails legal battle: Rebel News, JCCF suing to end mandatory quarantine programme

COVID jails legal battle: Rebel News, JCCF suing to end mandatory quarantine programme

Today in federal court in Toronto, lawyers for Rebel News, alongside lawyers from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, are suing the federal government to put an end to Justin Trudeau’s illegal and unconstitutional COVID jail system.

Healthy Canadians arriving by air, who already tested negative for COVID before flying, have been required to quarantine for three days at the cost of thousands of dollars while they await a second PCR test upon landing in Canada. Upon the results of that second PCR test, these healthy COVID-free people are then required to finish out a 14-day quarantine at home.If travellers don’t submit to arbitrary COVID detention, which appears to be up to the discretion of the health agents at the border, or a second COVID test upon arrival, these law-abiding Canadians then face thousands of dollars in fines and possible jail time. Completely healthy people are being arrested, detained and — as we found out today in court — denied the knowledge that they have a right to contact a lawyer, all in the name of “two weeks to flatten the curve.”

That’s exactly what happened to former Rebel News journalist Keean Bexte, who travelled to Florida on assignment for Rebel News. Upon his arrival back in Calgary, Keean was taken to a COVID jail hotel, despite having the ability to quarantine alone, his own mode of transportation to his location of quarantine, and a negative PCR test before he got on his plane back to Canada.

Even worse, these quarantine measures don’t apply to travellers who are arriving back to Canada by land. Apparently, the federal government presumes that so-called variants of concern only travel via airplane. But in fact, the government provided no evidence of the variants of concern entering via plane in their affidavits.

Rebel News
 will be following the case over the next three days, providing video updates and live tweeting the proceedings.

Law-abiding Canadian citizens are allowed to travel in and out of our country. They shouldn’t be punished financially by being sent to an overpriced COVID hotel, and denied their liberty and security of person just for trying to come home.

The federal government has limitless resources to fight Rebel News in court, but we think freedom is worth it. We’ve got great lawyers from JSS Barristers working on the case, including Sarah Miller, who is also working on our Charter challenge to the lockdown in Saskatchewan and representing Pastor Artur Pawlowski in Calgary.

B.C. Health Commissar Bonnie Henry Seeks Police Powers to Arrest Christian Churchgoers

B.C. top doc files to give police power to arrest churchgoers

British Columbia is one of the more open provinces in Canada, and yet it’s also one of the provinces that has come down the hardest on places of worship, as far as COVID-19 restrictions go. It may officially become the most oppressive province in Canada for freedom of religion very soon, if the injunction that Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is now seeking against a few of the churches who have remained open is granted.

Perhaps that would be more understandable if churches, and other places of worship in B.C., had actually proven to be “super spreaders” as they’ve been treated, except that statistically, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

In a previous report, I showed you a peaceful protest of Catholics worshipping outside in Vancouver. These churchgoers are perplexed as to how all of their parishes (over 70 of them) have been kept closed, when they have been linked to zero COVID cases.

The very minute percentage of the thousands of places of worship in B.C. that have had a COVID case linked to someone who attended services there pales in comparison to other industries and services that have remained open. Like the business of ski hills concentrated in the small tourist hotspot of Whistler, which was recently linked to 547 cases in just over a month.

Dr. Henry’s application for an injunction specifically targets only the Christians connected to the three churches whose names were not anonymized on a petition that was filed on January 7 through the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. The petition was filed on behalf of some of the churches in B.C. that have tried to remain open while adhering to comprehensive COVID-19 plans, including attendance limits and social distancing.

The injunction Henry is seeking is set to be argued in front of B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson on Friday. If granted, it will not only provide police with the authority to arrest anyone who attends any religious gatherings put on by those three churches — including Riverside Calvary Worship, which has had zero COVID-19 outbreaks, yet was previously fined thousands of dollars for remaining open — but it will also give police the authority to arrest anyone they suspect was going to attend such a service, whether they did so or not.

So, is Dr. Bonnie Henry retaliating against only the churches who made public their opposition to her order?

I interviewed Marty Moore, one of the JCCF’s freedom-defending lawyers who is representing these three churches, shortly after he landed in Vancouver. I got his thoughts on the injunction, and a better understanding of the data Henry uses to try and justify keeping nearly everything open but places of worship.

Click to watch the full report

Federal government faces imminent lawsuit over unlawful confinement of returning Canadian travelers

Federal government faces imminent lawsuit over unlawful confinement of returning Canadian travelers

Jan 29th, 2021

OTTAWA: The Justice Centre today announced that immediate legal action is being prepared against the Trudeau government over the declaration that Canadian residents will be subjected to mandatory quarantine, at their own expense, after returning from international travel, regardless of their negative COVID status. These measures are a blatant violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including the right to enter and leave Canada, the right to liberty and security of the person, the right to not be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned, the right to retain legal counsel, and the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

In a letter sent today to the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, the Justice Centre condemns the Trudeau government for its disturbing and aggressive opposition to the constitutional rights and freedoms of Canadians.

Furthermore, it has come to the attention of the Justice Centre that the federal government is already arresting Canadians arriving in the country by air and transporting them to a secret location, even though they possess a negative PCR test. These citizens are being held unlawfully despite not having been convicted of any offence, not having had access to a lawyer, and not having appeared before a judge. Law enforcement officers are apparently refusing to inform family members of where their loved ones are being held. The letter notes that this policy aligns with the world’s most repressive and undemocratic regimes and is totally unacceptable.

The letter states the government’s arrest and detention of Canadians in this fashion is unlawful and unconstitutional, and demands the immediate release of any Canadian currently being so detained, permitting them to continue any necessary isolation protocols in their personal residences.

The legal warning letter notes, “This is not China or Cuba, , or theocratic Iran. We are not prepared to permit you and your government to turn Canada into a repressive replica of countries that have no respect for human rights and civil liberties.”  The Charter enshrines the protection and guarantee of individual rights and freedoms, such as the rights to liberty, mobility, and privacy, into our Constitution.  All government orders, including emergency orders, must comply with the Charter by not infringing any of the rights protected thereunder, unless doing so can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society according to law.

Government Orders mandate that, regardless of a negative COVID test result, any person entering Canada must quarantine for 14 days on arrival. In fact, they must submit a 14-day quarantine plan to a government official, which is subject to the discretion of the said official. This discretion is subjective and without parameters. The letter puts Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government on notice that quarantine, particularly of healthy or asymptomatic individuals, is the functional equivalent of house arrest and will not be allowed to go unchallenged.

“We are deeply concerned with the federal government’s increasing disregard of the constitutional rights of Canadians”, stated Jay Cameron, Litigation Director for the Justice Centre.  “Citizens are being arrested at the airport and transported to federal isolation sites without recourse to a lawyer or the review of the courts even though these travelers are in possession of a negative PCR test. Families are telling us that their loved ones are being held at these sites and that government agents are refusing to say where those sites are. These travelers are perfectly capable of isolating at home instead of being imprisoned by the federal government.”

“There is no rational reason to incarcerate Canadians simply because they exercised their constitutional right to leave the country as protected by section 6 of the Charter,” stated Justice Centre President John Carpay. “It is not rational to impose a 14-day quarantine upon asymptomatic individuals who are able to provide negative test results confirming their lack of infection. Moreover, the federal government has admitted it is well-aware that international air travel results in a negligible number of active cases.”

“The federal government is on notice that if it does not immediately rescind these measures, and release the Canadians being held under illegal arrest in federal facilities, we will imminently commence legal proceedings,” concludes Mr. Carpay.

No injunction to save Christmas, but court action continues

No injunction to save Christmas, but court action continues

Dec 21st, 2020

EDMONTON: The Justice Centre is reviewing a ruling from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, which denied a preliminary application for a temporary injunction to restore Charter rights and freedoms being denied by restrictions imposed by the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) and Alberta Government.

The full hearing of the Justice Centre’s application will take place sometime in 2021. The date has not been set yet. The Court will be asked to consider fully all of the various harms which lockdowns have inflicted, and are inflicting, on Albertans. The CMOH and other government officials will be required to answer questions under oath, and to provide evidence to justify the violation of Charter freedoms to move, travel, associate, assemble and worship.

In December, the Justice Centre filed a court challenge to Orders made by the CMOH, including an injunction application seeking a temporary suspension of certain lockdown measures until the Court fully considers the case. The Justice Centre is representing two churches and two individuals, alongside Rath & Company, who represents another individual.

Among other things, the Justice Centre argued that the Court should lift restrictions that effectively outlaw friends and family from gathering at each other’s homes to celebrate Christmas, and the public health order that prohibits outdoor hockey and other gatherings. Under this Order, grandparents cannot visit their grandchildren, and immediate family cannot be together if they do not live in the same household.

Since March 16, 2020, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) has pronounced 42 public health orders that have violated constitutionally-protected rights and freedoms as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. At the heart of the case is a challenge to the constitutionality of Orders issued by one person without any consultation or review by the Alberta Legislature, contrary to the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

The latest CMOH Order declares illegal the celebration of Christmas among friends and family in a private home, restricts weddings and funerals to only 10 people, and completely prohibits all outdoor gatherings.

“On this application for a temporary injunction, the government was not required to demonstrate that its violation of Charter freedoms were justified. The fact the injunction was not granted does not mean the lockdown measures that violate people’s Charter rights are justified – that will be decided at the main hearing, to come in 2021,” states Justice Centre staff lawyer James Kitchen.

“The Court upheld the CMOH Orders simply by presuming that the Orders must be in the public interest. In regard to this application, the Court did not consider evidence as to whether the Orders actually are in the public interest or not. This, too, will be ruled on in 2021,” continues Mr. Kitchen.

“Dr. Deena Hinshaw swore and filed a cursory affidavit, with very little evidence in support of her opinions. Cross-examination prior to the injunction hearing was not possible, but will take place in 2021,” continues Mr. Kitchen.

“Justice Kirker agreed that Albertans are suffering irreparable harm – harm that cannot be remedied or compensated for – from the indoor and outdoor gathering restrictions imposed by the CMOH Order,” notes Mr. Kitchen.