Lockdown no longer a “demonstrably justified” violation of Charter freedoms

May 14th, 2020

 

CALGARY: The Justice Centre has released a comprehensive constitutional analysis of the Alberta Government’s violation of Charter freedoms to move, travel, assemble, associate and practice one’s religion.

Titled No Longer Demonstrably Justified the paper exposes the extreme inaccuracies in the COVID-19 Modelling that continues to be used and relied upon by the Alberta Government to violate Albertans’ Charter freedoms. The paper calls on the government to release the documents, data, assumptions and methodology on which its flawed models were based.  A letter sent to Health Minister Tyler Shandro (with enclosures) on April 24 requesting these documents has thus far gone unanswered.

The Alberta Government’s lockdown measures of enforced social distancing and isolation violate Charter freedoms of association, peaceful assembly, mobility and travel, liberty, security of the person, and conscience and religion. Now, two months after this first began, these measures continue to have a severe and negative impact on Albertans’ access to health care, which violates the Charter section 7 rights to life and security of the person. Finally, these measures are having a severe and negative impact on Alberta’s economy, inflicting significant damage to the physical, mental, emotional, financial and spiritual well-being of Albertans.

The April 8 and April 28 Alberta COVID-19 Modelling, which form the primary basis for government lockdowns that take away Albertans’ freedoms, contain wildly inaccurate predictions, as demonstrated by the chart below.

The sole rationale put forward for initiating lockdown measures was to “flatten the curve” to protect the health care system. This goal has been achieved and surpassed, with COVID-19 patients never using more than 1% of the beds in Alberta’s largely empty hospitals, and never using more than 8% of ICU capacity, now down to 5% as of May 8.

These AHS figures in the chart below demonstrate that Premier Kenney and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw were fully aware, throughout March and April, of how few COVID-19 patients were actually hospitalized, and how few were actually using Intensive Care Units. Yet 22,000 medically necessary surgeries, many of them urgent, remained cancelled from March 17 into early May.  While hospitals remained near-empty or far from full, the Alberta Government did not reverse, even in part, its March 17 decision to cancel 22,000 surgeries.

“What justification did the government have, based on the facts known to them, to cancel over 20,000 medically necessary surgeries?” asks lawyer John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre.

“Under the Charter, Albertans have a right to receive a compelling explanation from their government for the decimation of their livelihoods and the violation of their civil liberties,” continues Carpay.

“Alberta Health Services data demonstrates that the curve never took off in the first place, and there was no valid reason to cancel surgeries. The big question that Premier Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw must answer is what, if anything, justifies the continued full or partial lockdowns which violate our fundamental Charter freedoms. The onus is on governments, not citizens, to justify policies and penalties that continue to take away our freedoms and push so many Albertans into one or more of unemployment, bankruptcy, and poverty,” states Carpay.

“Suggesting that AHS modelling is inaccurate because the lockdown measures were successful, as Premier Kenney and Doctor Hinshaw have done, is disingenuous. The wildly inaccurate AHS modelling took into account that lockdown measures were already in place and would remain in place,” explained Carpay. “There is also no compelling evidence that the virus would not have run a similar natural course without this unprecedented shutdown of society.”

In a three-minute video, John Carpay summarizes the reasons why Alberta’s lockdown policies are no longer demonstrably justified in May.


AHS data on projected vs actual hospitalizations and ICU

Date Projected Hospitalizations Actual Hospitalizations Projected
ICU
Actual
ICU
March 17 3 9 1 3
March 18 6 14 2 3
March 19 9 16 3 8
March 20 12 17 4 9
March 21 16 18 5 10
March 22 20 20 6 10
March 23 25 21 7 10
March 24 30 23 8 11
March 25 40 30 9 11
March 26 50 34 10 11
March 27 60 35 12 13
March 28 70 38 14 14
March 29 89 40 16 15
March 30 90 42 18 17
March 31 100 42 20 18
April 01 110 42 22 20
April 02 120 44 25 20
April 03 135 46 28 19
April 04 150 48 30 20
April 05 160 45 35 20
April 06 175 47 38 18
April 07 190 48 40 16
April 08 205 46 43 16
April 09 220 53 45 15
April 10 240 54 48 15
April 11 250 54 50 15
April 12 260 53 53 15
April 13 275 53 55 14
April 14 290 51 58 15
April 15 300 58 60 13
April 16 315 51 63 14
April 17 325 64 65 14
April 18 330 61 68 16
April 19 340 57 70 19
April 20 350 68 73 18
April 21 360 67 75 20
April 22 370 72 78 20
April 23 380 63 80 19
April 24 390 77 83 22
April 25 400 77 85 20
April 26 410 85 88 22
April 27 420 88 92 21
April 28 430 93 95 24
April 29 440 86 98 22
April 30 450 90 100 22
May 01 460 88 103 21
May 02 470 89 105 18
May 03 480 92 108 20
May 04 490 91 110 20
May 05 505 87 113 20
May 06 515 88 116 19
May 07 525 89 118 18
May 08 535 82 120 16

 

Approximate, based on probable scenario of AHS’ April 8 COVID-19 Modelling
There is a discrepancy between the numbers reported by AHS and the numbers reported by Hinshaw in her daily updates. We have chosen to rely on the numbers from AHS, which can be found here: https://covid19stats.alberta.ca/.