WELLAND, ON: The Justice Centre announces that the Crown has stayed the charge against Kathryn Salmon on account of the unreasonable delay of her trial. Ms. Salmon was charged under the Quarantine Act in March of 2022 and fined $6,255 for allegedly refusing to take a Covid test upon returning to Canada.
On March 26, 2022, while Kathryn Salmon was returning to Canada from the United States, she allegedly refused to take a Covid test or use the ArriveCAN app. While she had requested an exemption to these requirements and had presented border agents with a suitable quarantine plan, her request was denied. The Public Health Agency of Canada charged her under the Quarantine Act and fined her $6,255. Ms. Salmon immediately requested a trial date, but the earliest trial date offered to her was November 3, 2023 – more than 19 months later.
Canadians have the right to be tried within a reasonable time pursuant to section 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In the provincial courts, including the Ontario Court of Justice, a delay of 18 months before the end of trial is presumed to be unreasonable.
Counsel for Ms. Salmon highlighted this defense to the Crown prosecutor, arguing that the trial of Ms. Salmon was unreasonably delayed.
In response, the Crown prosecutor agreed to stay the charge against Ms. Salmon, and did so on November 3, 2023
Lawyer Marty Moore, overseeing the case, stated, “It was never right to discriminate against Canadians on the basis of whether or not they took the Covid vaccines. It would not have been right to pursue this prosecution of Ms. Salmon, and we are glad the Crown has stayed the charge against her.”