The Canadian Armed Forces COVID-19 vax mandate may have violated certain soldiers' Charter rights

'We were ordered to go to the appointment to get the vaccine, so I went and told them that I was declining it or waiting,' said Dallas Alexander Flamand, a former sniper with the elite JTF2 special operations unit. 'That was on a Friday, and then by Monday I was being threatened. I was being told that I would be kicked out of our troop.'

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The findings of the Military Grievances External Review Committee (MGERC) have ignited discussions about the COVID-19 vaccination policy's implications within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and its potential infringement upon Charter rights. The committee's recent examination has underscored the complexities surrounding the implementation of this policy.

Over 157 cases have been presented to the committee for comprehensive scrutiny, shedding light on the experiences of military personnel who faced dismissal or resignation due to vaccine refusal during the pandemic, according to a report by CTV News. This significant number of cases has unveiled a series of concerns that pertain to the rights of soldiers who chose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Notably, the committee has brought attention to at least three instances where the vaccination policy and associated directives may have encroached upon the rights of these soldiers. Arbitrator Nina Frid, who led the review, voiced apprehensions regarding the policy's framework, stating that certain aspects appeared "arbitrary, overly broad, and disproportionate," as reported by CTV News.

One of the individuals affected by this policy is Dallas Alexander Flamand, a former elite special operations sniper from FOI2, who was medically released from the military due to the vaccination mandate.

Flamand's ordeal sheds light on the personal struggles faced by those who opposed the vaccination requirement.

Flamand recounted his experience of encountering bullying and threats from higher-ranking officers in response to the vaccination mandate.

"By Monday I was... being threatened, I was being told that I would be kicked out of our troop. They wanted me posted out of the unit. And this was like, it was like I said, I'd never seen a response like this to anything in my time there," explained Flamand. The release process for those who refused the vaccine seemed to be expedited once the mandate became official.

The report raises questions about the balance between public health concerns and individual rights within the military framework. As the CAF weighs the findings of the committee, uncertainties linger about the organization's response. It remains to be seen whether the Canadian Forces will contest the claims made by the MGERC in a federal court.

Dallas Alexander Flamand's sentiments reflect the uncertainty surrounding the situation.

"I don't know what to expect with this government, with Canada, with any of it. Like, how much I've seen things censored and changed and how corrupt it seems to be," Flamand expressed.

The CEEGM's examination has spotlighted the complexities that arise when public health measures intersect with individual freedoms, especially within the context of the military. 

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