What should be clear to all police officers is that they have a duty to uphold the oath they took when making the determination to become a police officer – it’s in their oath and the Police Services Act.
The following is quoted from the oath that police sign when becoming an officer;
Affirmation/Oath of Office – Police Constable
“I, (First Name, Last Name (Badge)) solemnly, swear/affirm that I will be loyal to her Majesty the Queen and to Canada, that I will uphold the Constitution of Canada and that I will, to the best of my ability, preserve the peace, prevent offences and discharge my other duties as Police Constable, faithfully, impartially and according to law.”
Part one of the Constitution Act examines the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – the same Charter that guarantees the following;
Section 2 Charter of Rights and Freedoms
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.
Although section 1 of the Charter can limit rights if it meets the Oakes proportionality test – police have seemed all to willing to do the bidding of politicians who seek to violate the rights of Canadians in the name of preventing Covid.
The Oakes proportionality test – says that when the government limits the rights of Canadians they must demonstrate that in limiting those rights – they are doing so in a way that limits the right “as little as possible.” If it is possible to impair a right to a lesser degree and still achieve the objective, the government must do so in drafting its legislation.
They must also prove a rational connection to their objective and the limited right. Additionally, the limit on the right must be proportionate to the effect identified in the first part of the test (Important Social Objective (“pressing and substantial” concern).
The catch 22 is that these measures must be challenged in court to over-rule them. Many would-be quick to point out that the shuttering of small businesses, while big box stores have remained open, would likely fail the proportionate portion of the Oakes test – as well as measures of mandatory masks and travel restrictions placed on healthy people.
“Virus cultures were negative for all asymptomatic positive and repositive cases, indicating no “viable virus” in positive cases detected in this study.”
The Police Services Act
So why the draconian enforcement of Covid protocols like we have seen in Gatineau, Quebec and Calgary, Alberta (ice hockey incident)? Wouldn’t pulling people from their family’s home (social gathering of 6) violate their oath to uphold the Charter that allows for peaceful assembly? These people had no proof of illness – and the asymptomatic argument has been attacked time and time again to no avail.
So where is the confusion for officers? Why are they enforcing these measures in what seems like the most heavy handed-way possible? How many officers are willing to enforce these measures that currently serve? What percentage of officers are against these measures but won’t speak up?
Now is not the time to be silent as an officer – there is never a time to be silent when it comes to rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You must uphold your oath to the Charter and serve and protect Canadians – not just follow orders.
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