Canadian court rejects feds’ request to remove documents supporting the appeal

Two businessmen suing the Canadian federal government over a vaccine authorization for travel have defeated the Attorney General (AG)’s attempt to remove standard portions of their affidavits to support their case.

Case management judge Mireille Doctor rejected the AG’s request on May 25 in the case of Sean Ricard and Carl Harrison v. Transport Canada and the AG.

The case is one of four lawsuits against the federal mandate that the court will hear jointly in September. Other separate lawsuits were brought by PPC Leader Maxime Bernier, former Newfoundland Prime Minister Brian Pickford with five applicants, and Quebec attorney Nabil Belkacem.

Toronto civil litigation attorney Sam Pressfilos, who represents Rickard and Harrison, told The Epoch Times that the AG sought to remove portions of his client’s affidavits that explain information they reviewed before choosing not to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Pressfilos said that among the documents the AG wanted to remove were official government information and statements from public health officials that were sometimes contradictory, such as the usefulness of masks or when borders are closed. The AG also wanted to remove the information that unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals can carry the same amount of viral load.

“We think the government didn’t like this information in the registry – they took the position that the applicants were masquerading as doctors/experts and that the evidence was hearsay because they didn’t release the data, [so] Pressfilos wrote in an email on May 27.

Pricephilus says he argued against the proposal to tell the court that the applicants’ affidavits were not submitted as expert testimony but as a way for the judge to understand the applicants’ “state of mind” and that they could be “relevant to an analysis of the charter.”

Rickard and Harrison, who founded a fundraising campaign on crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo to help fund the lawsuit, have obtained affidavits from five expert witnesses, including Dr. Neil Rao, Dr. Richard Schabas, Dr. Jennifer Grant, Dr. Adam Sirik, and Dr. Joel Kettner.

Kettner, a former Manitoba chief public health official, was questioned by the Crown on May 30.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the Department of Justice, which is headed by Attorney General David Lamty, for comment on the Rickard-Harrison case, but it has been referred to Transport Canada.

In their response, Transport Canada confirmed that the AG sought to write off parts of the affidavits but did not address the rationale behind the move.

Transport Canada spokesman Hisham said: “The court dismissed the lawsuit because Mr. Ricard and Mr. Harrison provided supplemental affidavits asserting that they did not rely on portions of the original testimony that Canada sought to invalidate as fact, which the court accepted.” Eyes in an emailed statement on May 27.

“The position of the Government of Canada is that the vaccination mandate is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as Canada’s human rights obligations,” said Ayoun.

Testimonies

Rickard stated in an affidavit that the vaccine’s authorization to travel prevented him from visiting his sick father in the UK, affected his efforts to grow his business, and took a heavy toll on his family and mental health.

The affidavit provides Statistics Canada data showing that COVID-19 is mostly dangerous to the elderly and those with comorbidities. For these reasons, Rijkaard rated his personal risk as low.

Harrison’s affidavit provides the COVID-19 vaccine information being promoted by authorities, who have said the footage will end the pandemic, as well as factual data to show that vaccines cannot stop transmission of the virus.

His affidavit cited a paper published in the medical journal The Lancet stating that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can similarly transmit the virus.

“There is increasing evidence that peak viral titers in the upper airways of the lungs and cultured virus are similar in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals,” says the research paper published in January.

These are portions of the affidavits that the Crown sought to have written off, Pricephilus said, arguing that the plaintiffs did not have the ability to interpret the data.

Other suits

The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) has been involved in several legal challenges to COVID-19 restrictions in recent months. She currently represents Bernier, Pickford, and co. in filing applications on the issue of federal travel authorizations.

The JCCF says Canada is the only country in the developed world that bans unprotected citizens from flying.

“Canada’s ban on unprotected flying is particularly stark given that Canada is the second largest country in the world by land area and Canadians have a much greater need to use air travel for work, family, and health reasons than citizens of most other countries,” said JCCF attorney Alison. Kendl Begovic in an email.

Izetbegovic says expert testimony also confirms that “both vaccinated and unvaccinated are spreading Covid.” She argues that this means that the government’s justification for the ban on air travel is “fatally flawed” and that “there is no justification for the gross violation of Canadians’ Charter rights”.

In another case, Quebec lawyer Nabil Belkacem, who is representing himself, said he was defying the mandate because he “immediately saw an intolerable violation of the fundamental rights of Canadian citizens by the government.”

Unvaccinated citizens can board a plane to Canada, but after that they cannot leave. Nobody can defend the merits of these measures,” Belkacem told the Epoc Times.

The attorney says that unvaccinated travelers are prohibited from air travel even though they can be tested for COVID-19 before travel, while vaccinated individuals are allowed to travel without problems. He says the lack of accommodations does not comply with the charter.

External pressure

External pressure on the federal government to cancel travel restrictions has been mounting recently due to the long delays travelers are facing through Canadian airports.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade organization that represents most of the world’s airlines, wrote to Ottawa on May 24 to urge feds to take action to reduce wait times.

She said vaccine mandate, ArriveCAN implementation, and random testing on arrival are hampering proposed measures and alternatives if these restrictions cannot be revoked.

Peter Cerda, IATA Regional Vice President, said: “Relevant authorities must urgently consider removing the last remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions and work with industry on policies and processes that will allow passengers to pass through airports without undue delay. for him”. for the Americas, in a statement released on May 24.

Internal pressure coming from the Tory opposition has remained steadfast, but a proposal calling for the government to relax airport rules was defeated on May 30 by all other parties.

Meanwhile, Transport Canada says the measures are necessary to protect the public.

“The priority of Transport Canada remains in taking the necessary steps to protect the Canadian transport system,” said Oyoun. “Transport Canada will continue to be smart in adapting measures in the transportation system in response to epidemiological changes and the latest scientific evidence from our public health experts.”

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Noé Chartier is a Montreal-based reporter for the Epoch Times. Twitter: @NchartierET Gettr:nchartieret

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