The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) is celebrating the first decision by a Canadian Court that has finally acknowledged the illegitimacy of the public health orders put in place in response to covid.
In the case of Ingram v. Alberta, Justice Barbara Romaine of the Alberta Court of King’s Bench has determined that, although many powers are granted to the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) during times of medical emergency, the Alberta government has thoroughly overstepped their authority and, as a result, all public health orders have been deemed invalid.
In the case of Dr Deena Hinshaw, CMOH for Alberta, it was determined that her role was merely that of advisor, offering recommendations to Cabinet members. It was clear to Justice Romaine that it was the politicians themselves who had made the final decisions on these public health orders, even commenting that it was difficult to tell at times if they even took her advice at all. This decision-making process goes against Alberta’s own legislation and completely nullifies the orders enforced on their citizens.
Leighton Grey, lawyer for the plaintiffs, spoke enthusiastically of the potential roll that this ruling may have on the many charter cases across Canada. In addition, JCCF anticipates that Crown prosecutors will now very likely be required to withdraw their cases against several prominent Albertans, including two well-known pastors who have been targeted for exercising their religious freedoms, despite public health orders.
The decision also stated that Justice Romaine believed that the gross infringements of individual Charter rights were justified, however this argument has yet to be fully evaluated and exhausted.
Stand with us in celebrating this win. But remain stalwart and don’t lose hope. This is one step forward with many miles yet to go and it will take every one of us standing together to succeed.