We are Canadian lawyers. In our country, civil liberties are under unprecedented attack. Governments, public health authorities, universities, public and private employers, municipalities, and businesses are trampling Canadians’ rights and freedoms. Our free society is at risk.
Covid rules restrict citizens’ abilities to work, shop, travel and socialize. They erode civil liberties strategically, attempting to not run afoul of the law or to trigger protections in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms such as liberty and security of the person, the freedoms of association, assembly, expression, conscience, religion, and mobility rights.
In our system of law, no principle is more important than the right to control your own body and to make your own medical and health decisions. An anxious populace, swept up in a deliberate campaign of fear, now believes that individual liberties upon which our liberal democracy is founded are dangerous and selfish. A growing collectivism that demands safety at the expense of autonomy shapes public policy.
We fear the erosion of our free society. We question the single-minded fixation on a virus that poses little risk to most people. We protest the uncalculated harms that Covid policies are causing to people’s health, livelihoods, relationships, and mental states. We oppose the mass hysteria and anxiety that governments and the media are fuelling. Most of all, we object to the deterioration of our civil liberties and the failure of our legal institutions – legislatures, governments, administrative bodies, and courts – to protect them. We propose a public inquiry into the handling of all aspects of the declared pandemic. Canadians should have control of their own lives and have the right to make their own decisions about their health, medical treatments, personal information, travels, and associations. Canada is supposed to be a free country governed by the rule of law. Restore it now or risk losing it for good.