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EU report takes aim at Canada’s “stringent and invasive” Covid rules

In May a healthcare law review was submitted to the European Parliament set its sights on the Canadian government for having some of the strictest Covid-19 restrictions in the world

The research, entitled Right to Health, a Comparative Law Perspective: Canada, was written by McGill University law professor Dr Derek Jones and released by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). It was a survey of the country’s legal system as it relates to healthcare rights. Similar assessments on other nations have been released by the EU.

“Many stringent and invasive public health measures for the Covid pandemic – curfews, capacity-restrictions in restaurants, the closure of bars and nightclubs for months, locking of office buildings, stoppage and restrictions on international travel – have severely curtailed or arrested commercial trade in vital sections of Canada’s economy,” the report said.

According to the report, Canada’s Quarantine Act also gave the Liberal government the ability to impose “unprecedented travel and isolation” requirements on Canadians.

“(The Act has) served as the legal source of some of Canada’s unprecedented travel and isolation restrictions to combat the spread of Covid in this 21st century,” the report noted.  “It has also been the legal authority for stealing Canadian borders or restricting non-essential travel during the pandemic, for vaccination requirements for entry and egress, and for the summer 2021-winter 2022 requirement that Canadians returning by air submit to a Covid test and isolate for up to 72 hours at border quarantine hotels, at the travellers’ expense, while awaiting negative results.”

Challenges to pandemic mandates were discussed in many portions of the study

“By the Winter of 2022, significantly more cases were flowing into the courts. Still, Canada’s relative ‘paucity’ of high court cases contrasts significantly with nations like France, India and the United States, even though some of Canada’s provincial and federal Covid public health measures have been amongst the strictest in North America,” the EPRS report said. 

The report described how a Newfoundland family successfully challenged their province’s travel restrictions. Taylor v Newfoundland saw the provincial supreme court rule in favour of a family attempting to attend their father’s funeral on the basis of mobility rights.

In a disclaimer it states “This document is prepared for, and addressed to, the members and staff of the European Parliament as background material to assist them in their parliamentary work.”

Canada’s stringent Covid-19 regulations are under increased international criticism. Several US senators have called for Canada to be put to a list of countries that violate religious freedom rights.

The International Air Transport Association has also asked that the Liberals remove all Covid-19 travel restrictions immediately.

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