The Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the motion for an interim injunction Monday filed by the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) in a case challenging the federal quarantine hotel policy.
“This was not the result we wanted today, but the court did recognize that the applicants in our challenge have sympathetic stories and that the constitutional questions need to be heard on the merits. The court also acknowledged that the applicants’ section 7 Charter liberty interests are engaged by the quarantine hotel policy,” said CCF Litigation Director Christine Van Geyn.
The interim injunction would have applied to the five applicants in the case and suspended the law until the hearing on the merits of the constitutional challenge.
“On the evidence before me so far, the government is being anything but draconian. It is employing the precautionary principle to take measured but needed steps to prevent or delay the variants from taking hold in Canada as vaccines are coming online,” wrote Justice Frederick Myers’ in his decision which is available online.
“We look forward to the hearing on the full constitutional question, and we are proud of the work we are doing assisting these travellers, who need to leave Canada for compassionate reasons. We will seek to expedite the hearing, as these travellers have urgent needs to go and be with their ailing loved ones outside of Canada,” said Van Geyn.
Van Geyn wrote an op-ed for the Toronto Sun last week that criticized the government’s system calling it “one of the most poorly implemented and restrictive responses to COVID-19 brought by any level of government.”
The CCF is an independent, non-partisan registered charity whose mission is to defend the constitutional rights and freedoms of Canadians in the courts of law and public opinion.
Ottawa’s quarantine hotel policy is facing other legal challenges, including two in Alberta and one in Quebec.