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UPDATE: Day 3 of Rebel News legal challenge against COVID jails

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Today is the third and final day of Rebel News constitutional challenge against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's COVID jail policy for air travellers entering Canada. Lawyers for Rebel News, along with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are hoping to put an end to this mandatory (and arbitrary) detention of Canadians.

Sheila Gunn Reid was live tweeting the hearing today as it happened, which you can see below. 

10:08AM ET

Back in federal court this morning on our lawsuit against the federal government to stop the airport incarceration of innocent healthy Canadians in covid jails. To help offset the costs of fighting the limitless resources of the feds pls go to

AG lawyers will argue that no reasonable alternatives to hotel jails are suitable to meet their objectives. This relates to Rebel News' argument that there were other alts available (letting Keean go home to quarantine as opposed to snatching him for 72 hours to a covid jail)

The AG lawyer is talking about uncertainty about vaccines, efficacy etc to justify the necessity of covid jails. "Knowledge of vaccines is in its infancy" 

AG lawyer says home quarantine seemed to have little difference in terms of contacts as people who participated in the Alberta pilot project (shorter quarantine. 2 tests after arrival). Me: so if there is little to no difference, why are we snatching people to a covid jail?)

AG lawyer, paraphrased: low standard of proof, high transmissibility of the variants of concern, infection rates of air travelers....justified the necessity of the 3 day hotel quarantine as the most reasonable measure to take.
AG lawyer: the applicants' section 6 charter rights to enter leave and remain in Canada remain intact. No limitation of sct 6 rights. (??? Since the victims of the covid jails found a way to come home. What about the paywall the govt put up to prevent them from coming home??)
AG Lawyer: they still have a choice to return or leave. (If your choice is to return home and go to jail tho you're innocent and healthy, or stay gone from your own country to avoid airport incarceration, is that really a choice?)
AG(paraphrased): unprecedented times make it necessary to limit individual liberties in the interest of public health Curfews, stay at home orders, closures of biz, limits on gatherings. Protecting the lives of the most vulnerable... accords with our basic Canadian values.
AG lawyer: a disincentive to leave/return to Canada does not constitute a breach of sect 6.
AG lawyer: "this is an additional restriction put on the first 3 days of the mandatory quarantine" Disputes hotel jails violate the security of person, says applicants' are relying on news reports for evidence (me: there was a sexual assault in one. Covid outbreaks in others)
Judge asks about Keean Bexte's affidavit where he said he was exposed to 14 additional individuals in the covid hotel that he would not have been exposed to at home. AG lawyers says Bexte didn't give details about those contacts (how/where) (She also didn't cross-examine him)
AG lawyer it says there is no evidence that the 14 additional contacts Bexte experienced inside the covid jail exposed him to any additional risk. (Me: but they tell me the whole point of the covid jails is to minimize exposure. In this instance, it increased Keean's exposure)
AG lawyer: The right of security of person does not prevent individuals from ordinary stress and anxiety. (Me: being snatched into a covid jail against your will for 72 hours, or face fines and longer incarceration, is an EXTRAORDINARY stress)
AG lawyer is arguing that since the innocent inmates of the covid jails had access to potable tap water, Wi-Fi, television, some form of food, and what I call "yard time", that security person was not violated.
Justice Crampton: if people are getting a clear covid test within 72 hours of getting on a plane, and then are quarantines in a hotel for another one to three days, has anybody calculated how much this decreases the risk of transmission?
AG lawyer: 69% of positive cases that are identified in air travel testing system are captured in the on-arrival test after they had a clear pre-departure test (Me: ok, fine but again why can't these people just go straight home to await their test results? Why covid jails?)
AG lawyer is arguing that it is necessary for air travelers to be quarantined for 3 days while they await their test because they will change their behavior and take covid more seriously if they know they're positive or negative for covid before they leave.
Rath, a lawyer for BC marijuana CEO who is also challenging the covid jail system, objects and reminds the AG lawyer that she is not a behavioral psychologist. Lol.
12:08PM ET
AG lawyer: Applicants' have failed to demonstrate that the measures are totally out of sync with their purpose. 
AG lawyer is now arguing that the 3-day incarceration in a covid jail is akin to an airport security pat down or a luggage search. "Necessary screening" Judge: isn't there a qualitative difference between that and 3 days of confinement. AG lawyer: that's how long it takes.
AG lawyer is currently arguing against Rebel News contention that the federal government cannot confiscate property without due process (ie: taking your money for an inflated rate covid hotel when you're both innocent and healthy)
I'm done in federal court. I'm filming a quick video update, watch for it later at This afternoon I am in court on the contempt hearing of Chris Scott, the AB diner owner, who was arrested and taken to jail for 3 days for refusing to close his biz
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  • By Keean Bexte


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