John Carpay, Western Standard
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s government succeeded in jailing Pastor James Coates for one month and six days, and then physically barricaded his church to prevent, entirely, its use for worshipping God. Raw state power has neither time nor patience for any dissent.
But when it comes to producing evidence in court, Jason Kenney is terrified of science and truth.
Pastor Coates and Grace Life Church will go to trial on May 3, on charges of violating Kenney’s and Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s health orders. Since March, the Alberta Government has known its unscientific and unconstitutional health orders would be challenged as unjustified Charter violations at this May 3 trial.
Rather than manning up and assembling the medical and scientific evidence to try to justify violating the Charter rights and freedoms of Albertans, the Alberta Government instead asked for an adjournment. The government told the court that seven weeks’ notice just wasn’t enough time, even after eleven months of Charter-violating lockdowns.
When asking for an adjournment, the Alberta Government was not able to say who its expert witnesses would be. Nor did government lawyers explain why they could not produce such expert evidence, other than that they are “very busy.”
And this while the Alberta Government is in possession of a 2,300-page expert report submitted by Justice Centre lawyers, outlining specifically how and why science does not support lockdowns.
The Alberta government engages in the same stonewalling in the Court of Queen’s Bench, where a Charter challenge to the lockdowns was filed in December of 2020. The Alberta government sought and obtained the court’s permission to delay filing medical and scientific evidence until July of 2021.
If Alberta’s lockdowns are indeed “scientific” and “evidence-based,” then the government would already have its medical evidence assembled and lined up, ready to present to court at any time. It should not take longer than a few weeks to prepare for court and present the scientific evidence to support lockdowns if persuasive evidence actually exists.
Essentially, Jason Kenney’s government is using the court process as a means of cancel culture which pre-empts any legal action to question economy-destroying and society-crippling health orders as the product of “unhinged conspiracy theorists” (Jason Kenney’s own words).
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires governments to justify demonstrably – that is, with compelling evidence – any law, policy or health order that violates any of our fundamental freedoms to move, travel, associate, worship, assemble, and express ourselves. This very basic constitutional requirement has been ignored completely by governments at every level in the past 13 months.
Certainly, Jason Kenney and Dr. Hinshaw frequently use the words “science” and “evidence-based” public policy. But when asked directly to provide the specific medical and scientific authorities that might justify the violations of our Charter freedoms, governments simply stonewall.
For example, we’ve asked the Alberta Government repeatedly to show Albertans the medical and scientific literature that supports the belief that healthy asymptomatic people are significant spreaders of the COVID-19 virus. This question is crucial because lockdown restrictions are based on the belief that asymptomatic people threaten the very lives of their fellow citizens by socializing, using gyms, eating together in restaurants, playing team sports, and enjoying family get-togethers at special occasions like Christmas and Easter. Yet governments in Alberta and across Canada have refused to provide the hard data.
Charter challenges to lockdowns in Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Manitoba are presenting courts with expert medical evidence and scientific reports showing that asymptomatic Canadians are not significant spreaders of the virus. Hence there is little if any medical or scientific basis for lockdown measures.
Premier Kenney and Dr. Hinshaw use the same stonewalling techniques when asked to provide specific information about other important issues, like the full extent of lockdown harms, whether lockdowns have actually saved lives, and whether governments are still relying on the demonstrably inaccurate predictions made by Dr. Neil Ferguson of Imperial College in March of 2020.
While governments are now being compelled to produce the science in court, it is a disgrace that they have not already been providing the science to the public. Instead, in the past 13 months, governments across Canada have relied on speculation, unproven theories, and news conferences with clever soundbites to create and perpetuate fear.
Governments should respect the Charter and comply with it, even when not being sued in court.
While a temporary two-week lockdown may have been justified in March of 2020, even without extensive medical or scientific support at that time, there is no excuse for continuing to destroy lives and livelihoods indefinitely.
Think about this the next time you hear Jason Kenney or Dr. Hinshaw utter the words “science” or “evidence-based public policy” at a news conference.