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Expedited appeal on mandatory hotel quarantine granted by Court

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased to announce that the appeal challenging the constitutionality of federal quarantine hotels and quarantine facilities will be moving forward on an expedited basis at the Federal Court of Appeal.

The Justice Centre brought a Motion on July 9, 2021, requesting that the Court expedite the hearing of the Appeal on the basis that: thousands of Canadians are being impacted by these oppressive measures every day, and that an expedited hearing was necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the remedy sought, namely a ruling that the learned trial judge erred in finding that the government’s measures do not violate the Charter rights of Canadians.

The Federal Court of Appeal agreed with the Justice Centre on July 28, 2021 that this appeal should move forward at a faster pace than an ordinary appeal due to great public interest surrounding the issue.

The Justice Centre appeared in Federal Court on June 1–3 on behalf of Pastor Nicole Mathis and ten more clients: Barbara Spencer, Sabry Belhouchet, Blain Gowing, Dennis Ward, Reid Nehring, Cindy Crane, Denise Thomson, Norman Thomson, and Michel Lafontaine, and Steven Duesing, who are challenging the government’s policy of forcing returning Canadians into federally chosen quarantine hotels and quarantine facilities at their own expense.

The Justice Centre argued that these oppressive measures violated seven different sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that the infringements were not justified in a free and democratic society. Nine out of the original eleven clients will be moving forward with the appeal.

On February 14, 2021, the Federal Government issued an Order-In-Council forcing international Canadian air travelers to be quarantined for three days in a federally mandated hotel at their own expense, sometimes at the cost of thousands of dollars, while waiting for Covid PCR test results. If individuals test negative, they are allowed to go home to complete the remainder of their 14-day quarantine; however, if they test positive for Covid they may be directed to further confinement at another quarantine facility, to complete the remainder of their 14-day quarantine.

The Justice Centre filed an appeal on June 30, 2021 at the Federal Court of Appeal after the June 18 decision of Chief Justice Paul Crampton which ruled that mandatory quarantine hotels and quarantine facilities are constitutional.

“Thousands of Canadians have been impacted by these oppressive measures over the past six months including many who have had to travel for reasons that were essential to them, such as attending funerals and obtaining urgent medical treatment. Moving this appeal along at a rapid pace is in the public interest and an effective way of continuing to hold the Federal Government accountable,” says Justice Centre Staff Lawyer, Sayeh Hassan.

“Canadians have a fundamental right to move freely in and out of the country, and should not be detained at their own expense against their will because they have travelled,” she adds

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