Oct. 31, 2020

The Pandemic – where is our Constitution?

The Federal Government of Canada and the Governments of the Provinces of Canada have taken great liberty with our liberties and freedoms guaranteed under our Constitution.

No doubt these Governments think that public health would be viewed by the courts including the Supreme Court of Canada as of such importance that all their new laws, regulations to restrictions on our freedoms would overrule these constitutional provisions. 

I am not so sure. No doubt some broad requirements would be constitutional. But some more narrow ones are questionable constitutionally, I submit. 

Take for example a new British Columbia health order limiting the number of people that owners may permit to visit their house. 

One can understand certain public gatherings and places that have public permits to serve the public. But a person’s home? 

Here is the regulation:

“The gathering of more than six guests in addition to the occupants in vacation accommodation [see definition above] or a private residence [see definition above] for the purposes of an event (anything that gathers people together) is prohibited.” 

Here is the Fundamental Freedoms section of our Constitution 

Fundamental freedoms

2. 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.Methinks the Government would have a hard time persuading the Supreme Court of this nation to overrule these rights as a result of the Wuhan Virus given what we know about the conflicting science of the nature of this pandemic. 

Now if you really want to get excited, how about this one governing places serving (less than 50 people)  food or liquor:

“background music and any other background sounds, such as from televisions or other electronic sound producing devices, must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation.”