Today in federal court in Toronto, lawyers for Rebel News, alongside lawyers from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, are suing the federal government to put an end to Justin Trudeau's illegal and unconstitutional COVID jail system.
Sheila Gunn Reid is live tweeting the court proceedings now.
JCCF is in Federal court this morning and Rebel News is in Federal court this afternoon to challenge Trudeau's covid jails on a constitutional basis.
I'll be live tweeting and doing my best to keep up!
Chief Justice Paul Crampton is hearing arguments. Expected to last 3 days.
JCCF is starting arguments. JCCF lawyer Henna [Parmar] is going through the orders in council that created the covid jail system.
Currently going through the covid testing requirements, OICs that mandated prebooking of hotels upon arrival to Canada.
[Parmar] is detailing how people who are exposed to covid, symptomatic, or asymptomatic but refuse a test upon arrival may be sent to a DQF.
DQF (designated quarantine facility)
JCCF is is challenging the parts of the law that force people to quarantine some place other than their home. Wants the sections of the the OICs that led to the detentions of their clients unconstitutional.
Ms [Parmar] is now making submissions on the status is her clients. All of her clients, Canadian citizens, left the country under one set of rules, and went they left, the rules changed.
JCCF Applicants: Barbara Spencer, Sabry Belhouchet, Blain Gowing, Dennis Ward, Reid Nehring, Cindy Crane, Denise Thomson, Norman Thomson, and Michel Lafontaine, Steven Duesing and Nicole Mathis.
Mr Thomson is a water bomber pilot. An essential worker. He was still detained in a covid jail.
Mr Ward was out of the country for dental surgery, so exempt. He was still detained in a covid jail.
Nicole Mathis was detained in Calgary uppn returning to the county after church work. She was taken to a covid jail and her family didn't know where she was.
[Parmar]: "Affording those charged with the most heinous crimes more rights than innocent citizens should outrage..."
[Parmar]: It does outrage society's sense of decency, making citizens pay for their own detention. "Making non-essential air travellers quarantine regardless of situation"
JCCF's Sayeh Hassan is up now. She's making arguments on Section 6 of the charter: mobility rights
Hassan: The freedom of choice to come back and come home has been taken away from the applicants and thousands of other Canadians. "When you're faced with detention or not coming home, that's not a choice."
Hassan is now moving on to section 7 arguments: Life, liberty, security of person
Hassan: the very act of forcing people against their will into quarantine facilities, under threat of detention and fines... People are not choosing to go to these facilities of their own volition.
Hassan: Canadians in these facilities have no control over their environment. At home, you have full control over your surroundings and your environment. At these facilities, they're completely under the control of the government or the people working in these facilities.
"This puts both their liberty and security of person in danger"
Hassan now detailing the at least 3 covid outbreaks that have happened at the covid facilities. ( implication is that healthy asymptomatic people are being snatched by the government and put into facilities where they could be exposed to covid)
Hassan says the govt submissions are attempting to minimize the covid outbreaks in the covid jails by saying that the outbreaks are limited to staff. (She argues that they don't make the same argument when an outbreak happens in a school)
Hassan now detailing the sexual assault that took place in a covid jail, govt is responsible for the safety and security of the people inside these facilities.
Hassan is detailing the diff between people arriving by air versus land in one week. 46,166 versus 181,540. But air travellers were only ones snatched by the govt to jail. Why? Restrictions applied only to 25% of international travellers at discretion of officers. Arbitrary.
Hassan finishes up her arguments that the detention of healthy people is overbroad and has moved on to gross proportionality. The objective of the measures to limit the spread of covid already in Canada is out of balance with the negative impacts of detention on her clients.
We're just learning now that people detained in these covid jails were never advised that they had a right to speak to a lawyer. That is a serious violation of their rights.
"The charter breach here is systematic"
And now hearing section 11 arguments, that air travelers were presumed guilty when land travelers were not. That air travelers were presumed to act differently, would not quarantine at home, when land travelers were given the benefit of the doubt.
court is back. JCCF lawyers are finishing this morning's arguments. The federal government's affidavits produce no evidence that the variants of concern have entered the country through air travel.
People who live alone were also required to quarantine in the covid hotels. What purpose did that serve? Me: especially when healthy single travelers were taken into covid hotel jails that had covid outbreaks.
The quarantine facilities were meant to be used as a last resort. That wasn't the way they were used.
The government saw 99% compliance rates with traveler quarantine prior to the institution of the covid jails. (So again why did they institute the covid jails?)
"We tend to see these types of measures in countries where the rule of law doesn't prevail"
JCCF lawyers are done for now.
Sarah Miller (YES!) from JSS Barristers is beginning arguments for Rebel News. The federal government says Rebel News doesn't have standing to challenge the covid jails. Miller says yeah we do.
Miller argues that Rebel News has both private and public interest standing. Cites @ezralevant affidavit about having to send journalists abroad to cover the news which makes us both privately and publicly interested (The restrictions inhibit our business and the free press)
(oh my Gosh, Sarah Miller is so good and so prepared. She's truly a superstar in her field. She's meticulously detailed)
Miller: they (Rebel News) have a number of employees who are subject to these provisions. They've sworn affidavit that they have a public interest in these Charter issues as well.
Miller is detailing how Keean Bexte ended up in a covid jail, to establish his standing. He traveled to Florida for work, and when he came back he was taken into a covid jail upon landing in Calgary. You can see his experience at http://nocovidjails.com
Miller: "The sworn evidence from Mr Levant and Mr Bexte is uncontested." "The respondent (the government) chose not to cross examine them" (We are challenging Trudeau's covid jails in federal court today. To support our legal challenge, pls go to http://nocovidjails.com)
(High level case law arguments. I'm just a simple country journalist!)
Miller: re blanket quarantines meant to protect hospitals from being overwhelmed: "We don't need the federal government to be patriarchal in that nature. Provs are well equipped to create their own rules, their own quarantine terms and conditions"
Justice Crampton is questioning Miller's argument that the enforcement/type of quarantine should fall to the provinces. Says the federal government could have jurisdiction over someone entering the country internationally.
The govt is arguing that since there is no money transferring from the traveler to the govt but rather from the traveler to the govt mandated covid jail, that the traveler is not deprived of their financial property. Miller argues this is contrary to the Bill of Rights.
Miller is done. Up next is Robert Hawkes from JSS Barristers to make Charter arguments on behalf of Rebel News/Keean Bexte in our lawsuit against Trudeau's covid jails.
Hawkes is arguing on the basis of section 7. Liberty.
"Mr Bexte had close contact with 14 people inside the quarantine facility," (..which were he allowed to quarantine at home none of those contacts would have taken place.) "All of that evidence is uncontested."
The government is arguing that travelers were infecting people between the time of arrival and the results of their test. Hawkes disputes this completely. He's going to prove his assertion this using the government's own affidavits.
Hawkes: If a random 3-day detention of someone who has not broken the law is characterized as a routine screening process then we will truly be creating new law today, and not only would it be problematic new law, but dangerous new law.
Court is done for the day we'll see you back here tomorrow. Follow our reports, and help fund our lawsuit against the federal government put a stop to the arbitrary detention of innocent healthy Canadians in Trudeau covid jails, at http://nocovidjails.com.
More to come...