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Judge declares quarantine hotels constitutional

The Court also found the constitutional rights of Pastor Nicole Mathis were unjustifiably infringed by authorities’ failures to inform her of her right to counsel upon detention.

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The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is disappointed with the Federal Court ruling Friday that found mandatory quarantine hotels at traveller’s expense are constitutional.

The decision will be reviewed thoroughly with a view to appeal, said the JCCF.

The Federal Court also found, however, the constitutional rights and freedoms of JCCF client Pastor Nicole Mathis were unjustifiably infringed by authorities’ failures to inform her of her right to counsel upon detention, and her and her family’s right to know the name and location of the designated quarantine facility she was being taken to. 

Mathis, who lives in the Edmonton area, was forced against her will on January 28 into a federal quarantine facility and detained for three nights because her negative COVID-19 test was not accepted by Canadian Public Health officials. Calgary police officers refused to tell her worried husband, Pastor Chris Mathis, where his wife was being taken.

The JCCF was in Federal Court June 1-3 on behalf of Pastor Mathis and 10 more clients to challenge the government’s policy of forcing Canadians into federally chosen quarantine hotels and facilities at their own expense. The JCCF argued these oppressive measures violated the plaintiff’s Charter rights to enter and leave Canada freely, to not be arbitrarily detained, to speak to counsel upon their detention, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the right to contest their detention in court.

On February 14, 2021, the feds issued an Order-In-Council forcing international Canadian air travelers to be quarantined for three days in a federally mandated hotel at their own expense, while waiting for COVID-18 PCR test results.

If individuals test negative they can complete the remainder of their 14-day quarantine at home. However, a positive test result can lead to further confinement at another quarantine facility until the 14 days are completed.

The new measures took effect on February 22. Since then, thousands of Canadians have been detained against their will in quarantine hotels and quarantine facilities, and thousands more have received large fines for refusing to be detained.

“Never in post Charter history have law-abiding Canadians been detained en masse against their will, with no regard for the fundamental freedoms this country was founded on,” said JCCF Litigation Director Jay Cameron.

“The Federal Courts finding these heavy-handed measures are constitutional is deeply concerning. Canadians continue to wait anxiously for the courts of the land to draw boundaries around the increasingly authoritarian measures of government regarding Covid. We are reviewing the decision carefully.”

The Western Standard recently spoke with “Jen,” an Alberta woman who spent two days in a quarantine hotel in Calgary two weeks ago. Although she had the status for essential travel due to her business, a border guard decided because she had been in Montana for 10 days, she would be deemed non-essential, even though no specific time limit exists.

“I work a lot. So I just thought, OK, this is gonna be nice. It’s a nice hotel room. They’re bringing me free food, I’m gonna hang out,” Jen said.

“It was fine until I got my results. They were negative, and I still couldn’t leave. And it was then I felt imprisoned. Then I felt like I am now being held against my will. And yes, can I walk out? Absolutely. And risk being arrested and risk a fine. And normally I would say that’s fine, but my businesses are international. I can’t afford to cause an issue that won’t let me back into the country where my business is.”

Jen said one consolation of the “gong show” is that the government pays for the mandatory quarantine hotels, unlike its initial weeks of operation.

“It is what it is. You must have a good attitude about it and laugh. I mean, it’s definitely laughable,” she said.

Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan

Lee Harding is the Saskatchewan Political Columnist for the Western Standard. He is also a Research Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and is the former Saskatchewan Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Bill Mccann

    June 23, 2021 at 10:12 am

    I’ve read that you will not be fined for not going to a covid jail in Alberta or Quebec. I also recently heard a paralegal on rebel news make the same comment a couple days ago. Police are not sending fines if you refuse to go. I’m not certain about rejecting the nose probe though.

  2. Steven Ruthven

    June 20, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Concerning also is Trudeau’s edict on Federal Judges being bilingual, as I see it right across Canada, all for the benefit of Quebec citizens whom might wish to work in a predominate English speaking society, in another province. However, the same consideration for English speaking people who wish to move & to work in Quebec are treated as second class, just like the cultures who wear religious symbols are now treated as second class in Quebec.

    Canada is an ass backwards nation under Trudeau & the judiciary appear to be backing Justin up on this downward dive to an unjust society a socialist society.

    COVID-Hotels with people being snatched away without due process are a blight on Canadian Society. Be concerned who is being appointed to the bench by this Liberal Mess of a Government, be very concerned.

  3. Bruce Hay

    June 20, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Left coast. Well stated I agree 100%. Canada under the current governments have gone way to far for this bug unleashed by China. This has to stop.

  4. Left Coast

    June 18, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    Canada is well on the way to a Fascist State . . .
    these moron Judges are throwbacks to the 3rd Reich.

    It was just the friggin Flu folks . . . most of the people who died were over 75 . . . and most had co-morbidities.

    And what can you say about Canada FakeStream Media for the last 18 months . . . Lies, Scare, Fright & Propaganda . . . Echoing every insane statement of our inept Premiers and their incompetent Health Ministries.

    Flue Season ended 2 months ago . . . PCR Tests have over a 50% fail rate . . . and our US Friends are packing 19,000 into a hockey arena tonight and there will be over 50,000 at the NASCAR race on the weekend . . . while we cower behind our doors.

    The insanity needs to stop . . . NOW !

  5. K

    June 18, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Ridiculous. About as ‘constitutional’ as every scandal blackface has found himself in since this nightmare began.

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SLOBODIAN: Decade long investigation into Manitoba residential school involves nearly 100 officers and 700 interviews

The First Nation recently undertook a search of the site using ground-penetrating radar technology but has not released the results.

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A “large and complex” decade-long investigation by RCMP has been underway into allegations of sexual abuse at a former residential school in Manitoba’s Sagkeeng First Nation.


The Fort Alexander Residential School opened in 1905 on Sagkeeng First Nation, located 120-km north of Winnipeg. In 1970 it was converted to a day school that operated for several years.


Manitoba RCMP issued a press release Tuesday confirming the major crimes unit began looking into allegations of abuse in February 2010, then launched a formal criminal investigation the following year.


RCMP began by gathering information, including reviewing archival records in both Ottawa and Manitoba. They went through thousands of documents such as student and employee lists and quarterly returns.


This involved more than 80 officers who interacted with more than 700 people across North America in an effort to find possible victims and witnesses.


“After compiling and collating all this data, investigators developed an investigative plan that began with the canvassing of people whose names had been identified in the documents as well as a door-to-door canvas in the Powerview/Fort Alexander area, where the school had been located,” said the statement.


The criminal investigation launched in 2011 involved 75 formal witnesses and victim statements.
Recently, Sagkeeng Chief Derrick Henderson said elders and survivors have long spoken about abuse at the school and children that went missing.


The First Nation recently undertook a search of the site using ground-penetrating radar technology but has not released the results.


“Violation of the privacy rights of those involved in this investigation will not only cause further trauma to everyone involved, but also potentially compromise this highly sensitive investigation,” said Henderson. “We ask that the trauma our community has experienced and continues to live every day is respected and that those affected are afforded their privacy at this time.”

RCMP are working closely with First Nations leaders and no other criminal investigations into former residential schools are underway in Manitoba, said RCMP.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard  lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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BC increases vaccine efforts amid slowing rates, including ‘vax vans’

“Over the next two weeks, BC will push hard to vaccinate as many eligible people as possible.”

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BC health officials want more people rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 shot, and say they will be increasing efforts in the coming weeks to do just that.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and Dr. Penny Ballem addressed BC’s vaccine roll-out plan during a Tuesday morning news conference.

Among their announced efforts are “walk-in Wednesday” which will take place August 4 when 20,000 jabs will be made available with no need to book in advance.

Walk-in Wednesday is part of the “Vax for BC” campaign.

“I’d like to begin by thanking each and every one of the millions of British Columbian’s, like me, who have stepped up to be vaccinated,” said Henry.

“Because of this small act, we have been able to re-open our province.

“While we have made tremendous progress with our immunization plan, there is of course more work to do. We know that some people still struggle to find a convenient time in their day to get immunized, and others may still have questions, and be hesitant about the vaccine.

“So starting today, we are making it even easier for people to get vaccines. To help protect themselves, and their loved ones against COVID-19.”

Henry said the province will be introducing “custom vax vans” so people will be able to get vaccinated on their lunch break or “while cooling off at a lake.”

The province is also reducing the wait time between first and second doses from eight weeks to seven weeks.

There are currently 906,772 eligible people who have not received a dose, roughly 19.6% of the population older than 12, according to data from July 23.

Interior health has an un-vaccinated population of 26.2% while Northern health has 32.5% without a first shot.

On Monday, the Surrey Board of Trade wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Health Minister of Canada Patty Hajdu, BC Premier John Horgan, and Minister of Health Adrian Dix urging them to “implement a proof-of-immunization model.”

“We support a centralized, Canada-wide approach to COVID-19 proof-of immunization that could be easily used to confirm vaccination status for international and domestic use,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“Without inter-provincial harmonization, Canada risks a piecemeal approach, making life more difficult and unpredictable for individuals and employers during an already uncertain time.”

Last week, YVR airport implemented separate lines for vaccinated and un-vaccinated individuals prior to reaching customs.

The separation of lines – which was put in place as a federal policy – has since been removed following extensive public push-back.

As for enforcing proof-of-immunization policies at concerts, night clubs, and sporting events – an increasing number of British Columbian’s are cozying up to this idea.

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com

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Feds silent on $120M loan to company not ‘worthy of taxpayers’ largesse”

Both CMHC and the Department of Social Development declined to respond to questions.

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Federal agencies yesterday remained mum about a $120 million housing loan to one of Canada’s wealthiest developers, after Cabinet earlier defended the loan as critical, said Blacklock’s Reporter.

“This project will help over 300 local families find rental housing units,” Ahmed Hussen, minister responsible for housing, told reporters. “That’s why the government is taking action to increase the supply of rental housing through projects like the one we’re announcing.”

Cabinet on July 19 announced the $120 million loan to build 302 apartments in Brampton, Ont. The developer is Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. The company’s CEO was paid $3 million in salary and benefits last year, according to corporate filings.

“This project will help over 300 local families find rental housing units,” Hussen’s department said in a statement. “A solid and reliable supply of rental housing is critical to ensuring more Canadians have access to housing that is affordable.”

Choice Properties is owned by George Weston Ltd. The developer’s 2020 net income totaled $451 million. The loan was approved through a federal program, the Rental Construction Financing Initiative, that extends 10-year, easy-term credit “for certainty during the most risky periods of development,” according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Both CMHC and the Department of Social Development declined to respond to questions. The news website Press Progress cited data from Canada Mortgage and Housing that of 302 apartments in the Brampton project, as few as 61 would rent at below-market rates. The building is scheduled for completion by 2023.

“We know that finding an affordable place to live is a challenge for many Canadians in communities across the country,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the time. “Today’s announcement is great news for families in Brampton. The Government of Canada will continue to invest to increase affordable housing options.”

George Weston Ltd. reported net earnings of $1.6 billion last year. It also operates the Loblaw Companies Ltd. supermarket chain that in 2019 received a $12 million federal grant to install new freezers. “Canadians might wonder why the Liberals handed over $12 million to Loblaw’s, one of Canada’s richest companies,” Conservative MP Mark Strahl (Chilliwack-Hope, B.C.) earlier told the Commons.

The freezer grant was paid under a Low Carbon Economy Fund. A now-disbanded ecoEnergy program similarly paid grants to large corporations in the name of energy efficiency.

Sobeys Inc. received $1.48 million in ecoEnergy grants in the period from 2006 to 2013. Loblaw Companies received $801,000. A total $207,968 was paid to McDonald’s Restaurants and $153,960 to Sears Canada.

“These companies are flush,” Liberal MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, Ont.) said in an interview at the time. “Companies, given their financial statements, don’t seem to be worthy recipients of taxpayers’ largesse.”

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.
mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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