World Health Organization plans to override our sovereignty
1 December 2021
In a consensus decision aimed at protecting the world from future infectious diseases crises, the World Health Assembly today agreed to kickstart a global process to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement or other international instrument under the Constitution of the World Health Organization to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said the decision by the World Health Assembly was historic in nature, vital in its mission, and represented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to strengthen the global health architecture to protect and promote the well-being of all people.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the many flaws in the global system to protect people from pandemics: the most vulnerable people going without vaccines; health workers without needed equipment to perform their life-saving work; and ‘me-first’ approaches that stymie the global solidarity needed to deal with a global threat,” Dr Tedros said.
“But at the same time, we have seen inspiring demonstrations of scientific and political collaboration, from the rapid development of vaccines, to today’s commitment by countries to negotiate a global accord that will help to keep future generations safer from the impacts of pandemics.”
The Health Assembly met in a Special Session, the second-ever since WHO’s founding in 1948, and adopted a sole decision titled: “The World Together.” The decision by the Assembly establishes an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, with a view to adoption under Article 19 of the WHO Constitution, or other provisions of the Constitution as may be deemed appropriate by the INB.
Article 19 of the WHO Constitution provides the World Health Assembly with the authority to adopt conventions or agreements on any matter within WHO’s competence. The sole instrument established under Article 19 to date is the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which has made a significant and rapid contribution to protecting people from tobacco since its entry into force in 2005.
Under the decision adopted today, the INB will hold its first meeting by 1 March 2022 (to agree on ways of working and timelines) and its second by 1 August 2022 (to discuss progress on a working draft). It will also hold public hearings to inform its deliberations; deliver a progress report to the 76th World Health Assembly in 2023; and submit its outcome for consideration by the 77th World Health Assembly in 2024.
Through the decision, the World Health Assembly also requested the WHO Director-General to convene the INB meetings and support its work, including by facilitating the participation of other United Nations system bodies, non-state actors, and other relevant stakeholders in the process to the extent decided by the INB.
Our Constitution, section 92 – 11, states that the federal government is responsible for Quarantine and the Establishment and Maintenance of Marine Hospitals.
has long been used to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. During the 14th century, European cities and governments used quarantine to control the spread of bubonic plague, known as the Black Death. For example, ships arriving in Venice were detained
for 40 days, or “quarantino,” the Italian word for 40 days. This was the origin of the term and practice of quarantine, the isolation of people and goods that may have been exposed to disease.
Canada adopted a Quarantine Act in 1872, five years after Confederation. The law remained unchanged for over a century before minor revisions were made in 1985 and 1996.
In the past, quarantine stations for arriving immigrants operated near Canada’s major ports, including William Head (Victoria, British Columbia), Grosse Île (Quebec City, Quebec), Partridge Island (Saint John, New Brunswick) and Lawlor’s Island (Halifax, Nova Scotia).
Today’s Quarantine Act was passed in 2005. It repealed and replaced the original quarantine legislation. Its purpose is to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases. The Act gives the federal health minister authority to screen all travellers who are entering or exiting Canada, including the ability to establish quarantine stations and facilities. The minister can fine or imprison those who refuse to comply.
The Quarantine Act also gives emergency powers to the federal government. The government can stop importing goods and prohibit any class of people from entering the country. Emergency orders are enforced by fines and the possibility of criminal prosecution. Those who willfully or recklessly violate the act face fines of up to one million dollars and jail terms of up to three years.
Trudeau’s support for the WHO scheme is an attempt to avoid his government’s constitutional responsibilities as it did during COVID by pretending that provinces have the authority to invoke the Quarantine Act. They do not. The Quarantine Act is restricted to travellers and goods and does not extend powers over the general population. https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/q-1.1/page-1.html
Trudeau failed to secure our borders following the Quarantine Act when warnings of COVID infections were first raised in the fall of 2019. That failure is unforgivable.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. The government must prove that actions taken under the Quarantine Act that infringe on the Charter are justified.
The government of Canada has no authority to enter into an agreement that overrides the Canadian Constitution.
Treason is the crime of betraying a nation or a sovereign by acts considered dangerous to security. In English law, treason includes the levying of war against the government and giving aid and comfort to the Monarch’s enemies.
Sedition is a crime against the state. Though sedition may have the same ultimate effect as treason, it is generally limited to the offence of organizing or encouraging opposition to the government in a manner (such as in speech or writing) that falls short of the more dangerous offences constituting treason.
Our Head of State is the Queen in the Right of Canada. The government of the day cannot enter into an agreement that overrides the Monarch’s absolute authority over the governance of Canada.