Students denied education will sue Seneca College over vaccine mandate

TORONTO: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms represents two students who are not permitted to return to Seneca College’s campus in September unless they receive vaccinations intended for the prevention of Covid-19. Ms. Mariana Costa is enrolled in a three-year Fashion Arts program, and she only has two semesters left, and Ms. Crystal Love is enrolled in a two-year Veterinary Technician program. Both students are anticipated to complete their programs and begin their new careers in April 2022.

Seneca College’s President, David Agnew, sent the students a notice by email on June 18, 2021, advising them of the new vaccination requirement.

The Justice Centre wrote a letter on behalf of Ms. Costa and Ms. Love in July, advising the College that if it did not lift the vaccine requirement for the two students, legal action would commence. Those letters never received a response.

Mr. Agnew recently wrote a column in the Toronto Star, where he stated: “Now is the time to make it crystal clear that some doors will open to the vaccinated and some will remain closed to the unvaccinated.”

Neither Ms. Costa nor Ms. Love can fully complete their programs online, which will leave them struggling to deal with student loan payments in the long-term as it will take them longer to earn income to begin to pay them back. Ms. Love is a single mother who has been working hard to be able to better provide for her children, and both women are anxious to finish their programs to be able to begin new careers.

The Supreme Court of Canada has held that the Charter applies to the actions of colleges in Canada, and the Charter protects these students’ rights of conscience, privacy, and to life, liberty, and security of the person. A court may also find that vaccine mandates discriminate against the unvaccinated and are a violation of their equality rights.

The students were also not provided with all of the known potential risks associated with the Covid-19 vaccinations (such as Bell’s Palsy, myocarditis, pericarditis, and thrombosis) prior to being informed that they would need them to be able to complete their education. There are currently Health Canada warning labels for these conditions for the PfizerModerna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

There is scientific evidence that these vaccines do not stop transmission, therefore, the post-secondary education vaccine mandates will not achieve the goals of preventing the spread of Covid-19. In Iceland, where approximately 75 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, and over 90 percent of people over the age of 16 have had at least one shot, that country’s Chief Epidemiologist recently stated that herd immunity from vaccination has not and cannot be achieved, as the Delta variant can be contracted easily even by those who are vaccinated and spread to others.

This reality echoes a report from the Centre for Disease Control [“CDC”] from a July 2021 outbreak in Cape Cod, MA, where 469 Covid-19 cases were identified among residents who had travelled there and 74 percent occurred in fully vaccinated persons. Of the five hospitalized cases, four were fully vaccinated. Further, according to the CDC as of August 19, 2021, fully vaccinated people with a breakthrough infection produce the same high amount of virus as unvaccinated people, and both groups can spread the virus to others.

Natural immunity to Covid has been proven to be very robust and long-lasting. In Israel, where approximately 60 percent of the population is fully immunized against Covid, data presented to the Israeli Health Ministry revealed that coronavirus patients who recovered from the virus were far less likely to become infected during the latest wave of the pandemic than people who were vaccinated against Covid.

“The Justice Centre is preparing a lawsuit against Seneca College on behalf of these students, and intends to aggressively defend their Charter rights. Seneca’s policy is not only unconstitutional, but also not science or evidence-based, as the CDC has admitted that fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections carry high viral loads and can spread the disease to others,” notes Justice Centre Staff Lawyer Allison Pejovic.

“The use of coercive and intimidating tactics in threatening to destroy students’ education and career prospects if they do not submit and receive the new Covid-19 vaccine is unethical and unlawful,” adds Ms. Pejovic.

“We will fiercely defend these women and their right to bodily integrity and the freedom to choose what medical treatment they undertake, without the fear of being denied their education.  In a free country, individuals are entitled to choose what they inject into their own bodies.”