Day 2: B.C. Supreme Court hearing legal challenge against vaccine passports

The legal challenge, brought forward by The Democracy Fund, enters its second day at the B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria, where Drea Humphrey reports.

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The province of British Columbia dropped its vaccine passport policy on April 8, but that doesn’t mean such a mandate won’t return during the next flu season. 

In an effort to set a new precedent to prevent that from happening, an important legal challenge to the constitutional validity of public health’s vaccine passport orders was heard in Victoria’s Supreme Court this past Tuesday and Wednesday.

On day one of the challenge, which was brought on by The Democracy Fund, thanks to generous donations made through, JSS Barristers attorneys William Katz and Robert Hawkes submitted to the courts how their three plaintiffs, who were medically unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, had their rights unconstitutionally breached by the government.

Strengthening their argument was the fact that in September 2021, Vancouver Coastal Health’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Patty Daly, informed staff, during a “Build Back Better” COVID-19 forum, that the vaccine passport that prevents unvaccinated Canadians from entering “non-essential” places such as restaurants, movies and gyms, was “really to create an incentive to get higher vaccination rates,” not because such places were high risk, as they “were not seeing COVID transmission in such settings.”

Despite Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry signing off on vaccine-related orders like that for regulated health-care workers — which allocate CMHO’s like Dr. Daly the authority to “make an order subsequent to” Dr. Henry’s orders, and states that medical health officers “are in the best position to assess local circumstances with respect to the risk of the transmission of communicable diseases in hospital or community settings” — the government's lawyer, Julie Gibson, argued in court on day two that Dr. Daly was speaking from her own opinion on vaccine passports, rather than public health authority when making such a claim.

Counsellor Hawkes was quick to respond to Gibson’s claim by reading directly from a September 10 vaccine-card order, signed by Dr. Henry, which alluded to Dr. Daly’s authority to speak to such matters.

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson, the judge presiding over this case, and who is the same justice hearing all four current challenges of similar nature to B.C.’s vaccine passports, said he would have to sort through the evidence from Dr. Daly and Dr. Brian Emerson, B.C.’s deputy provincial health officer, who works closely with Dr. Henry, while reserving judgment.

In this video, you'll see our interview with counsellor Katz and Leigh Eliason, one of the three plaintiffs who were represented at no cost in this case thanks to your generous donations at If you'd like to read more direct quotes from what took place during the second day of the hearing, click here.

This challenge is just one of many vaccine and freedom-related cases The Democracy Fund is taking on with your help. Please continue making charitable donations to to ensure these legal fights for medical freedom in Canada can keep going strong.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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