Legal Organization Calls on Ontario to Revoke ‘Unconstitutional’ Vaccine Passport Mandate

By Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
September 23, 2021 Updated: September 24, 2021

A legal organization is calling on the Ontario government to revoke its vaccine passport mandate, citing “deep concerns” about the constitutionality of the measure.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms issued a letter (pdf) Sept. 22, demanding the government rescind the mandate, which requires Ontarians aged 12 and above to show proof of having taken two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to access a wide range of public facilities such as restaurants, bars, gyms, music venues, theatres and meeting spaces. The system came into effect on Sept. 22.

“Vaccine passports are lauded as an effective tool to prevent spread of COVID-19 and keep Ontarians safe, disregarding the dearth of evidence suggesting current vaccines do not prevent individuals from catching or transmitting the virus. Further, no provision is made in the new law for the existence of natural immunity among those with prior exposure to COVID-19,” the letter read.

“Thus, the new law appears to be about coercing Canadians into taking the vaccine by restricting their freedoms, not about creating virus-free spaces.”

In a news release, the Justice Centre said it has notified the provincial government that it will take legal action if it fails to rescind its “unconstitutional discrimination” against people who choose not to receive the vaccines due to personal medical conditions, religious beliefs, or various other reasons.

The release said the Justice Centre has received hundreds of emails from residents concerned about losing their jobs, their rights to worship, and participation in society.

“The new mandate will have the effect of segregating individuals and especially young children from mainstream society. Mandating a system that denies Canadian’s access to certain services that are arbitrarily defined as nonessential by the government creates a slippery slope, and sets a dangerous descent into a medical dictatorship,” Justice Centre staff lawyer Henna Parmar said in the news release.

“If we do not put an end to these measures, we will be putting unlimited power in the hands of the government to dictate what medical care we receive, what drugs we take, and what privileges they will allow us that should be fundamental rights,” she added.

The Justice Centre said the vaccine passports are “an infringement of Canadians’ constitutionally protected rights” to freedom of conscience, liberty and security, and equality.

“Section 7 of the Charter guarantees the right to liberty and security of the person. Ontarians should not be coerced or pressured by the government into submitting to a medical intervention to which they do not consent. Informed consent and the right to bodily autonomy are two principles that our laws have long protected,” Justice Centre staff lawyer Jorge Pineda said in the news release.

The Justice Centre noted that the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines authorized by Health Canada are still under clinical trials, with some that will not be completed until 2023, and are therefore experimental and with no long-term safety profile.

The Ontario Ministry of Health has stated that only two medical exemptions for vaccine passports can be recognized: one for those who are allergic to an ingredient in the vaccine, with verification provided by an allergist, and another for those who experienced myocarditis or pericarditis after the first dose of a vaccine.

There has been no provision for exemptions based on religious belief or creed, which the Justice Centre said are both protected under the Charter and Human Rights Act.

“Every Canadian has the right to bodily autonomy and to decide what medical procedure to accept or reject,” the Justice Centre wrote in the news release.

The Justice Centre’s letter was addressed to the Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the province’s Minister of Health Christine Elliott, and the provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore.

The Epoch Times reached out to the government and health officials for comment but didn’t immediately hear back.

Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.