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