TORONTO: The Justice Centre is disappointed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling that was released yesterday, which held that Ontario vaccine passports were constitutional. The decision will be reviewed thoroughly with a view to appeal.
The Ontario government implemented a vaccine passport system on September 21, 2021, which prohibited unvaccinated people from accessing many public venues, such as gyms, pools, and restaurants. Businesses were forced to implement this system or face fines of up to $100,000. Business owners could face up to 1 year in jail if they refused to comply with the measures.
Lawyers representing the 8 Applicants were in Court on November 21 and 22, 2022, challenging the constitutionality of the Ontario Government’s vaccine passport requirements. Sarah Lamb was one of the Applicants who got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. She experienced serious long term neurological side effects including losing sensation from her waist down immediately after getting the first dose. She was told by Public Health to go ahead and get the second dose of the vaccine despite having been scheduled to see specialists. She was denied an exemption.
Applicant Evan Kraayenbrink is a paramedic who worked in the front lines during the Covid outbreak. He objected to the Covid vaccine due to his sincerely held religious beliefs. There were no religious exemptions permitted in the vaccine passport regulations.
“All Ontarians should be free to enjoy the rights that our democracy have to offer. However, the exemptions to the vaccine passport regime were incredibly limited and unfairly narrow, and none of the Applicants were eligible for an exemption under the vaccine passport regime” said Jorge Pineda, one of the lawyers for the Applicants.
He went on to say that “Ontario did not base its decision to implement a vaccine passport on scientific evidence, and did not take the trouble of ensuring that the measures would not unnecessarily infringe the rights guaranteed in the Charter. The province offered no alternatives to those who had valid concerns about the Covid vaccines, such as administering rapid tests at the entrance to public places that were deemed off-limits to the unvaccinated.”
Mr. Pineda concluded that “we are carefully reviewing the decision, and discussing appeal options with our clients.”