In a refreshing change from COVID cops arresting pastors for preaching the Gospel, a group of 19 serving and former police officers are challenging the constitutionality of Ontario’s COVID restrictions.
They claim enforcing COVID lockdown and public gathering restrictions forces them to breach their oath to uphold the constitution.
The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed that the province was served with a notice of application on April 29, 2021. [Please read the Court Filing (PDF)]
The group is 15 active and 4 retired members of the Toronto Police Service, York Regional Police Service, Ottawa Police Service, Niagara Regional Police Service, Hamilton Police Service and the RCMP.
Rocco Galati, executive director of the Constitutional Rights Centre, filed the court action on behalf of the group and held a virtual press conference on April 30th on YouTube. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfMatPJAgfw )
“To my knowledge this is the first time that police officers have actually gone to court against the legislative and executive branch of the government, saying that the laws that they are being asked and are under a duty to enforce in fact violate not only their oath, and their duty, and their office, but the constitution,” Rocco Galati said.
Their constitutional challenge names Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey, the chiefs of police of the five municipal police services listed above, as well as the Attorney General of Canada.
They seek the following declarations from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice:
- Canada’s pandemic laws “are not rational” and have “no force or effect.”
- Lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and curfews are “forms of martial law.”
- Wearing masks, social distancing and lockdowns are “ineffective” and “not scientifically or medically based” because they’re based on coronavirus cases the legal documents claim “are 96.5 per cent false.”
They also seek a declaration from the court that religious gatherings and protests are exempt from pandemic restrictions in Ontario.
“Ontario’s position is that the application is entirely without merit and it is asking the court to summarily dismiss it,” an unidentified Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General spokesperson said.
“My clients are concerned to the point that they’re stepping forward at their personal and reputational risk because of unwarranted, and hostile and irrational reprisals,” said Rocco Galati, flanked by Toronto Police Service Sgt. Julie Evans and York Regional Police Const. Christopher Vandenbos, who are both plaintiffs.
“Anyone who dares speak out is ostracized and attacked, even if they do so in civil and appropriate ways,” he said.
“Many of these police officers that take it unto themselves to barricade and put an army line between a church and the street and in fact walk into churches unannounced, without a search warrant, onto private property restricting parishioners are breaching 176 of the Criminal Code,” Galati said, referring to the section that says stopping or interfering with a religious gathering is a crime.
“Why? Because they’re taking their cues from the moron politicians and supervisors.”
“They’re abusing their authority. They’re beating up on citizens.”
And it must stop.
Rocco Galati remembers his father’s court-martial and internment for opposing Mussolini.
“He always told me the fascists don’t come marching in overnight. It’s a slow march.”
“The most egregious violations against humanity are not committed by individuals. They are committed by governments. All wars, genocides, systemic crimes against humanity, enslavement and abuses of human rights have been committed by states”, Galati says.
“The right to choose does not belong to the state,” Galati said on October 29, 2019, standing on the steps of the Ontario Legislature. “It belongs to the individual. Only in a police state could you violate a person’s body without their informed knowledge and consent.”
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Two TPS Sergeants Under Investigation
Toronto Police Sgt. Julie Evans and Toronto Police Sgt. Greg Boltyansky, both plaintiffs in the legal action, are under investigation for allegedly attending a public gathering that contravened Ontario’s Reopening Ontario Act.
The investigation comes after Evans and Boltyansky, both off duty at the time, were caught on video attending a rally at the Church of God at Aylmer on April 20th.
They accused Aylmer Police officers of failing to uphold their sworn oath to the Constitution by enforcing provincial pandemic laws.
Unsurprisingly, their accusations didn’t go over well with the Aylmer Police.