Lawsuits Pile Up Against BC COVID-19 Mandates

By Lee Harding 

June 28, 2022 Updated: June 29, 2022

The province of British Columbia is facing court battles one after another from various parties over vaccine requirements it imposed during the pandemic.

The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) filed a legal challenge to the B.C. vaccine passport regime on Sept. 28, 2021, saying it discriminated against people who could not be vaccinated for medical reasons.

Lawyer Geoffrey Trotter, who is handling the case for the CCF, says the province was too narrow in its list of acceptable medical exemptions from the passport and gave no opportunity for recourse.

“It was a closed list with no opportunity for individualized assessment. Of course, that’s good for administrative efficiency, but it’s not good for respecting the constitutional rights of people who can’t safely get the vaccine,” Trotter said in an interview.

One plaintiff in the case is a teenage girl who says she developed heart inflammation after her first dose of a COVID vaccine. Another is a woman who says she experienced nerve damage and partial paralysis in her arm following her first vaccine dose. She subsequently became pregnant and says she was advised by her neurologist not to get a second dose. Another woman who had complex disabilities and was contraindicated for many medications says she was at heightened risk for a serious reaction yet was ineligible for an exemption.

Trotter said he was lucky to have been able to advance the case, given procedural barriers unique to B.C.

“We couldn’t even get the government to file a defence to our petition until after we successfully got hearing dates, and that’s a challenging and slow process in B.C.,” he said.

“Basically, you have to wait for one day a month when there’s this telephone lottery system, and you dial in right at a certain time and keep redialing until you get through and hope that you get through. Thankfully, we did.”

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson heard a few vaccine passport challenges in April and May, according to Trotter, who expects the judge to rule on them all simultaneously.

“The chief justice was clearly very interested in the arguments,” he said.

“I’m hopeful that, as the crisis phase is behind us, courts will be more willing to say that these things did go too far and to set some guardrails so that if and when this happens again, that the emergency orders aren’t going to create so much collateral damage.”

‘After We Filed, They Backed Right Off’

In another case, lawyer Rocco Galati filed a 391-page notice of civil claim with the B.C. Supreme Court on Aug. 17, 2021, on behalf of 20 plaintiffs who claimed damages due to the province’s public health orders. Eighteen defendants were listed, including B.C. Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry, federal Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam, and other provincial and federal politicians and agencies.

Plaintiffs included family members kept from visiting elderly loved ones in care, business owners whose businesses suffered or failed due to restrictions, people forcibly quarantined, patients who say they were denied medical treatment due to their vaccine status, and individuals removed from rides on B.C. Ferries despite having mask exemptions.

Action4Canada was one of the plaintiffs. Founder Tanya Gaw says it was unusually difficult to get the defendants to receive the claim.

“I even worked with a process server, and he said in his 30 years of business, he’d never seen anything like it to get it delivered. They wouldn’t accept it. He couldn’t get access. Nobody was in the offices,” she said.

“They dragged their heels on who was going to receive the statement of claim, just prolonging it. And when they did finally respond, of course, they responded with a motion to strike [down the case].”

In court proceedings on May 31, Galati argued the case should not be struck down.

While no ruling has been made on the motion to strike, Gaw believes other legal action has already brought changes. She said issuing notices of liability to school boards got many to reverse course on plans to implement mandatory vaccination for students.

“I believe 100 percent that filing the statement of claim helped,” she said.

‘We Think That We Prevailed’

The Canadian Society for the Advancement of Science in Public Policy(CSASPP), a non-profit volunteer-driven organization, filed a proposed class action lawsuit with the B.C. Supreme Court in January 2021. This requires petitioning the court to ask that the case be certified as a class action suit. The CSASPP has one petition that challenges mandates on behalf of health-care workers, while another challenges the vaccine passport. Updates on filings are made regularly on the CSASPP website.

Executive director Kip Warner says Henry tried to have the health-care workers’ petition thrown out by arguing that the CSASPP had no standing. After Justice Simon Coval sided with the CSASPP on this point in May, Henry appealed that decision on June 2.

Chief Justice Hinkson heard the vaccine passport case on May 18–20.

“The injection passport petition is over now. We’re just awaiting our ruling. It seemed to go very well,” Warner said.

“We think that we prevailed, but you never know. You can’t really read the tea leaves until you get the judgment back. But if we do get it back, it will be historic, for sure. It will make international headlines.”

Hinkson was told the CSASPP had made many requests for exemption from the vaccine passport. One request included evidence from Dr. Joel Kettner, former Manitoba chief medical officer of health, which didn’t received a response. Warner said that when Hinkson asked why no responses were given, the Crown counsel said, “We were backlogged.”

“The judge said, ‘OK, so because you had a staffing shortage, you suspended the Constitution. Do I have your submissions on that?’ And everyone’s jaw just dropped in the room. This [was the longest], most awkward, painful silence I’ve ever seen in my life. Like maybe 15 to 20 seconds go by.”

Warner said the Crown counsel finally responded by saying, “It was an emergency, and so we were swamped. We did what we had to do. It wasn’t pretty, but there weren’t any other options.”

The Epoch Times emailed Henry for comment but received no reply.

 

Lee Harding

Lee Harding is a journalist and think tank researcher based in Saskatchewan, and a contributor to The Epoch Times.

Source: Epoch Times

8 thoughts on “Lawsuits Pile Up Against BC COVID-19 Mandates

  1. Criminal Ineptitude is a concept observers have wrestled with for decades watching the rolling out of the “new world order”. The NWO is a famous phrase uttered in public speeches by dozens if not hundreds of public officials and Bush Sr. at the UN. The Covid response got politicos to again spout these words in unison. In the above article the overwhelmed lawyer was forced to admit criminal ineptitude by saying, “there weren’t any other options”. Just following orders.

    Although it is depressing for us peasants to realize, the bureaucrats, staffers and rulers in our giant control system we call government / industry / research / banking etc., they all follow (their) golden rule. Which is, take the carrot or get the stick. They are donkeys. Is this NWO a new form of fascism that Canadians resisted in WWII for example? Probably, because control as we are seeing is orchestrated by a few over the many. Do the (wrong) thing – or else. Ignore the law, ethics and obvious evidence of harm because the stick will hit you middle bureaucrat – you wouldn’t want to lose your job and perks would you?

    The people in WWII fought for God, Country and their family. Now, the many cower in fear, fighting to keep their job and pretending to have kept their self respect and humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As much as I loathe what is happening to my once great country..and as much as I would like to place accountability at the feet of our
    Drama/ Prime minister and his NDP Federal “boyfriend”…surely this cannot be their fault. These two “Mental Midget’s” cannot possibly be that powerful!!
    Their obviously are Bigger Fish pulling these two puppet strings.
    How do we go about reclaiming principled rights and freedoms…apparently our Constitution is beyond suspect….
    The Supreme Court of Corruption proves that everyday by denying legitimate judicial process.
    Restricting travel to Canadian citizens, forcing medical procedures when it is obvious their can be and are dramatic adverse
    vaccine injuries..forcing a medical procedure with NO LONG TERM STUDIES!!!
    I guess we can struggle to acknowledge…..It is not JUST CANADA that has stripped rights and freedoms from it’s people…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Is it too much to ask people to do the right thing?

    If the right thing was done in integrity — would we have such
    issues in our society?

    head-shaking, isn’t it?

    Like

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