Crown drops ticket against woman who refused PCR test due to medical condition
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased to announce that the Crown has dropped another Covid ticket, this one for $5,750, issued under BC’s Quarantine Act.
In early 2021, “Ms. C” of Chilliwack, BC, travelled to the U.S. to receive medical treatment. She returned back to Canada on September 8, 2021. When she arrived at the border, Ms. C was informed by government agents that she would have to submit to a PCR test. Ms. C politely and respectfully declined, on grounds of bodily autonomy and personal health.
Prior to her arrival at the Huntingdon, BC border crossing, Ms. C had been suffering from a significant staph infection in her nasal passages and had just suffered a thyroid flair up requiring an emergency room visit. Armed with a prescription for antibiotics that had not yet been filled, Ms. C was concerned about undergoing a PCR test in her nose while suffering from a serious infection. She was diagnosed with Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA) and at the time, was not working due to her health problems.
Ms. C reported that the agent would not listen to her concerns and was condescending and intimidating. Ms. C was issued a $5,750 ticket for failing to comply with government orders.
The Justice Centre sent a letter to the Crown providing Ms. C’s medical condition and medical history, including letters from her doctor in the U.S. and her endocrinologist in BC, and outlined Ms. C's concerns over an invasive PCR test while suffering from a nasal staph infection. After review, and an appearance in court on March 11, 2022, the Crown agreed to withdraw the charge and ticket against Ms. C.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees citizens the right to leave, enter, and remain in Canada, a basic freedom respected by free and democratic societies around the world.
"Through travel restrictions the government has unnecessarily burdened Canadians needing to leave and re-enter Canada, without providing compelling medical or scientific evidence to justify these restrictions," states Christopher Naimi, a lawyer with the Justice Centre. "In cases such as Ms. C’s, we have seen a concerning lack of empathy and understanding shown towards Canadians who are unable to meet the requirements, with very little in the way of alternatives offered to them,” continues Mr. Naimi.
"The Justice Centre is challenging these violations of Charter rights and freedoms by defending those who receive tickets, and also by way of other court actions, like Brian Peckford's challenge to irrational requirements for air travelers to have Covid injections when other countries have abandoned this discriminatory practice," concludes Mr. Naimi.