Recommended but not mandated provincially – Premier Doug Ford says face mask are “mandatory” but the official position of the Ontario government is that it “recommends” face mask wearing. Obviously both can’t be true at the same time – so how is Ford “mandating” the use of a face covering?
Ford appears to be passing responsibility for these mandates to regional municipalities to implement their own form of “mandatory mask” by-laws in their regions. Here’s the issue – many “mandatory mask laws” differ from region to region, and they ALL allow for exemptions.
What responsibilities does the government have when enacting The Emergency Measures Act?
The following is from the pre-amble to the Emergencies Act.
“AND WHEREAS the Governor in Council, in taking such special temporary measures, would be subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Bill of Rights and must have regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, particularly with respect to those fundamental rights that are not to be limited or abridged even in a national emergency;
NOW THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:”
So if I’m understanding this correctly, everything they’re telling us is “mandatory” and “law” is still subject to the Canadian Bill of Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
What rights do those grant us?
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in section 2 says the following;
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
- (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
- (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
- (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
- (d) freedom of association.
We have rights – So if we have freedom of association and peaceful assembly – how is the Premier able to limit the size of any gathering? Many will be quick to point to section 1 that says “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. This is true, but they must “demonstrate” that their actions are justified in a “free and democratic society.”
Doctors, epidemiologist, virologist, and public health officials speaking up all around the world. The mishandling of this “pandemic” has made it clear to me, and many other Canadians, that the actions that our government is taking is anything but “justified,” as they refuse to debate and “demonstrate” how their actions are the reasonable form of action to “combat COVID.”
What about freedom of conscience?
If I know the science on masks, and the government refuses to debate anyone holding a dissenting view on the matter, can I refuse to wear a mask? After all, it violates my freedom of conscience, thought, and expression as outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I don’t believe masks protect me or anyone else – and the science backs me up.
Precedent has already been set about some of the COVID measures(masks), but the court challenge against these measures are being held up in court. Mandatory masks were fought by the Ontario Nursing Association in 2018 when they won in court against the Hospitals because the masks were ineffective at preventing transmission of influenza from both nurse and patient.
Article: Staley: Everything wrong with mandatory masks
Canadian Bill of Rights – The Canadian Bill of rights protects Canadians against closure of their businesses, and ensures the liberty and security of a person. This is easily linked to the closure of businesses against the will of the business owners, in addition it also reiterates Canadian rights of Freedom of assembly and association again – like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
Did the government allow Canadians to freely pursue their economic and social development during this time? Absolutely not! They shut down businesses arbitrarily while keeping liquor and beer constantly available to the masses, never shuttering big box stores all while constantly demonizing small business owners and telling them they couldn’t operate “safely.”
The people are waking up. The silent majority is no longer silent.
We have rights – but like muscles, they don’t do much if you don’t exercise them.