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The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms today announces that the Federal Court has released the decision on the interim injunction regarding the federal hotel quarantine and quarantine facility policies. The interim injunction would have applied to nine Justice Centre clients who travelled under different sets of circumstances and found themselves facing detention in federal facilities upon arrival in Canada.
While the Court did not issue the interim injunction, it found that both Charter Section 7- the right to life liberty and security of person, and Section 9 - the right not to be arbitrarily detained are engaged by the federal quarantine policies and were serious issues to be tried at a further trial.
The Court also accepted without reserve the Justice Centre's reminder that in a time of emergency, the role of an independent judiciary in safeguarding Charter rights and freedoms takes on additional importance (see paragraph 124 of the Decision.)The Court went on to say: "History demonstrates why the bulwark of the robust protection of Charter rights by an independent judiciary is so important in times of crisis."The full hearing on the constitutionality of quarantine hotels and quarantine facilities is scheduled for June 1-3, 2021.
"At this stage of the case, I am not prepared to reject out of hand the Applicants' argumentthat their liberty has been constrained in a manner that is not in accordance with the principles offundamental justice," the justice wrote in his decision. "At this stage, I find that the Applicants' argument that their section 7 liberty interests (in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms) are infringed by the Order in a manner that does not comply with the principles of fundamental justice meets the threshold to support a finding that they have raised a serious issue.""I find that the Applicants' argument that the challenged measures impose requirements on air travellers thatamount to detention, while similar restrictions are not imposed on travellers arriving by the land border is a distinction that contravenes section 9 because it is arbitrary, meets the threshold for establishing a serious issue," wrote Mr. Justice Pentney of the Federal Court. "I repeat, however, that this is not - and should not be understood to be - a pronouncement on the merits of the argument; rather, it is a finding that the Applicants' argument on this ground should not be dismissed at this early stage of the proceeding The full hearing on the constitutionality of quarantine hotels and quarantine facilities is scheduled for June 1-3, 2021. "
"The forced isolation of returning Canadian air travellers is arbitrary, unnecessary, and totalitarian", states Justice Centre Litigation Director, Jay Cameron. "These quarantine hotels and restrictive measures are more consistent with a dictatorship than a free society. We look forward to the full hearing of these issues in early June."
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