Healthcare workers obtain partial win against Bonnie Henry in BC Supreme Court

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Photo: Wiki Commons

Healthcare workers obtain partial win against Bonnie Henry in BC Supreme Court

Photo: Wiki Commons

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VANCOUVER, BC: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased to announce that the British Columbia Supreme Court has remitted back to the provincial health officer the issue of whether remote working and administrative health care workers must take the Covid vaccine as a condition of being able to work in a health care system that the BC government claims is grossly understaffed.

While the Justice Centre is disappointed that the court upheld the Covid vaccine mandate on BC healthcare workers, this decision is viewed as a substantial win for those remote-working and administrative healthcare workers who lost their jobs due to an unfair Covid vaccine mandate and other Health Orders put in place by BC provincial health officer Bonnie Henry, starting in November 2021. The court’s decision was released on Friday, May 10, 2024, by Justice Simon Coval in Vancouver.

The Justice Centre provided for lawyers to represent the healthcare workers, who filed their Petition to the Court on March 16, 2022. Oral arguments were presented November 20 to December 1, 2023, and December 18 to December 21, 2023. The petitioners argued that the orders violated their Charter rights, section 2(a) freedom of conscience and religion, section 7 right to life, liberty and security of the person, and section 15 equality rights.

The case is formally known as Tatlock, Koop, et al. v. BC and Dr. Bonnie Henry. More background is available at this link.

Charlene Le Beau, co-counsel for the petitioners, says, “This case was a Judicial Review, which means the court had to determine whether Dr. Bonnie Henry acted reasonably in making the Covid vaccine a condition of employment. We are disappointed with the court finding that Dr. Henry acted reasonably, but pleased with the court also finding that the application of the Orders to remote-working and administrative workers went too far. As a result, the court remitted the issue back to Dr. Henry so that, in light of the reasons for judgment, she can consider whether to accept requests for exemption to the vaccine for those groups of workers. This is a positive result for BC nurses, doctors and other health care workers.”

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