As you may already know the vaccine passport mandate has been lifted in British Columbia since April 8, 2022. What you may not know is the court hearings in BC challenging the COVID-19 mandates and enforcement.
On Tuesday, May 10, we reported on the news of a BC judge ruling against Dr. Bonnie Henry. To date there have already been 2 days in court completed with a third coming shortly.
There are multiple Court challenges in BC related to covid mandates and enforcement. Dr. Bonnie Henry’s legal team requested the case be thrown out of court but the judge decided the case needed to be heard.
Even though the vaccine passports were dropped in BC there is still many people being affected by vaccine mandates that remain in place. Dr. Bonnie Henry issued a Public Health Order to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all BC Public Service workers, contractors and volunteers to be so-called “fully vaccinated” by Nov. 22, 2021.
Day 1 in court
Chief Justice Hinkson is overseeing two cases in British Columbia related to vaccine passports. On May 10, the hearing started with Counsel Katz addressing Cheif Justice Hinkson the case is about whether the breach of the plaintiffs charter rights were justified and reminding him originally there was no exemptions granted by Dr. Bonnie Henry for the vaccine passports .
Katz testified Dr’s were given intimidating information in regards to if they were allowed to write exemptions. Chief Justice Hinkson stated he was disappointed in plaintiff Eliason’s Dr. Sclater’s evidence detailing fears involved writing exemptions.
Counsel Katz said Plaintiff Prendiville, a 28-year old man in Burnaby, B.C. had an adverse reaction to the first shot. After Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine shot 1 Prendiville suffered from pericarditis and has no prior history of any health conditions, active and healthy.
Plaintiff Eliason applied for an exemption because of just being medically unable to take a shot. It was portered in a interview with plaintiff Eliasons’, their family doctor, Dr. Slater wrote a medical exemption note for the vaccine passport.
In more statements by Attorney Katz the government openly admitted the vaccine passports were not for health and safety but just to increase the vaccine rates in the province.
“Katz begins to argue the coercive nature of the the vax passports. Pointing out that VHS’s Cheif Medical Health Officer, Patty Daly, admitted the Vax passports were not due to spread of COVID, but instead to incentivize people to vaccinate.” a journalist for Rebel News tweeted from the court while linking to a video from a BC Government Covid-19 update.
Attorney Katz argued the government also stated B.C. is “one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world” with the vaccine rate plateaued at around 90% between Nov 4th 2021 and March 10th 2022.
Katz made a point plaintiff Eliason missed out on health opportunities like working out at a gym, attending special family milestone events such as weddings and prevented from seeing her father in an assisted living home and not even visit her grandpa before he passed away.
Once again Katz stressed the point the government only used the vaccine passport mandates for the sole purpose to up the vax rates.
Hawkes argues “there is a pattern of behaviour where the government announces there will not be exemptions, that everyone will have to be vaccinated,” and then a few weeks later quietly write the terms of the policy.
Katz argues that for 7 months plaintiffs had a feeling of being shunned or isolated &”a notion that everyone around them thought they were conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers.”
A group of BC Public servants opposed the vaccine mandate and started to petition the provinces decision to make the COVID-19 vaccine a requirement for employment.
On May 11, 2022, the second day. government lawyer responded to the previous day statement by Katz about the plaintiffs not being able to go to the gym to exercise and said all Canadians have been restricted in some way from the COVID-19 mandates.
Justice Hinkson comments “I’m not sure climbing Mount Everest with pericarditis” would have been an option. The government lawyer agrees and suggests the plaintiff could go for a walk.
Cheif Justice Hinkson asks Dr. Bonnie Henry’s lawyer Gibson, what she has to say about it being discriminatory treatment to not give plaintiff Prendiville access to a QR code once PHO granted him a medical exemption.
Governments lawyer Gibson finished her submission by saying the government believes the orders are reasonable and effective and had minimal impairment to the plaintiffs. The government claims there was a need for the public health measure sof the impact on the healthcare system.
When Plaintiff’s lawyer Robert Hawkes responding raising question to why the government allowed unvaccinated people to serve food to patrons in restaurants but not for unvaccinated patrons to be served in restaurants.
The first time the governments lawyer as asked this question they had no answer, this time round they said people working in restaurants have an employment interest and livelihood interest but also the roles are different in he they interact with the public.
Counsellor Hawkes read directly from a public health order signed by Dr. Bonnie Henry that Cheif Medical Health Officer’s authority to speak to such matters. Justice Hinkson says he will have to sort through the evidence from Dr. Daly and Dr. Emerson (deputy PHO who works close with Dr. Henry).
Hawkes said there is no evidence to prove the unvaccinated is at more risk for transmission of COVID-19. Justice Hinkson rebutted and said there is evidence that the unvaccinated are filling up the hospitals.
According to the BC CDC donut dashboard 85% of hospitalizations are people that have been vaccinated and 82% in critical care are vaccinated.
Lawyer Robert Hawkes says there is a theory of unvaccinated being more of a risk of transmission but there is no evidence and a theory is not sufficient enough to breach rights.
According to journalist Drea Humphrey from Rebel news “Counsellor Hawkes final blow was If the court recognizes that the gov authorities fall short then that will increase faith in democratic institutions and if the court fails to hold the gov to account that will continue to depreciate the public trust in democratic institutions.” she tweeted from the court house.
For the full coverage it can be seen here.