On Thursday, January 21, 2021, BC Premier John Horgan told reporters he would not impose a travel ban based on a “review of our legal options.”
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees our right to mobility in Section 6: Mobility Rights.
6 (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.
(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right
- (a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and
- (b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.
This sudden deference to the Charter by John Horgan’s government is deeply perplexing given his NDP government willingly violated the fundamental Charter rights of British Columbians, rights supposedly protected in Section 2 of that document.
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
Dr. Bonnie Henry’s rationale for prohibiting all worship services in British Columbia was the “possible COVID-19 exposures at the Gurdwara Baba Banda Singh Bahadar Sikh Society in Abbotsford.”
It wasn’t based on an actual outbreak but on a possible exposure to COVID-19.
Contrast this with the High Priestess’ treatment to a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 at Big White Ski Resort.
- There was no order to shut the facility down.
- There was no order to shut down all ski resorts in the province.
Instead, the Interior Health Authority issued this statement:
“We are confident with the safety plan in place by Big White Ski Resort. Outdoor activities at Big White are considered safe for anyone following public health direction.”
Premier Horgan, here are two simple questions I dare you to answer publicly.
- If seeking a legal opinion before deciding whether or not you would violate our mobility rights was so darned important, why didn’t you seek a legal opinion before violating our religious freedoms as defined in Section 2 of the Charter?
- Why do you continue to allow Dr. Bonnie Henry, your High Priestess of COVID, to violate the religious rights of British Columbians?
Premier Horgan, your government’s glaring inconsistencies combined with your blatant refusal to apply these restrictions uniformly across all sectors of British Colombian life is why more and more people refuse to take any of your public health orders seriously.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has filed a legal challenge in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against restrictions on public protest and worship services resulting from Public Health Orders issued by B.C. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The Justice Centre represents over a dozen individuals and faith communities who have been issued multiple tickets of up to $2300 for allegedly violating the Orders while exercising their Charter freedoms.
To donate to the JCCF in support of this legal challenge, please visit https://www.jccf.ca/donate/