As defiance to public health restrictions spreads across Canada, this case is one of many. Seven rural Manitoba churches are attempting to persuade a judge that the province’s lockout measures are unjustified violations of Charter-protected freedoms of faith, religion, speech, and peaceful assembly and that the chief medical officer of health refused to recognize the “collateral social and health costs” of the measures.
Indoor gatherings have been restricted in Manitoba since the beginning of the pandemic either entirely prohibited or limited in capacity — and this has had an effect on religious gatherings. COVID-19 has killed nearly 1,000 people in Manitoba so far, and Manitoba tightened restrictions last week in response to a growing third wave of cases.
The churches say that the number of COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba has been “inaccurately inflated” and that the “resulting misleading numbers” have been used to justify the lockdowns, as well as that modeling data, is “flawed and unreliable.”
This is one of the court cases involving the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) that will pit Charter-protected religious freedoms against the public health need to keep citizens secure — and physically apart — during a deadly pandemic.
This is one of the court cases involving the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) in Calgary, which will pit Charter-protected religious freedoms against the public health need to keep people safe — and physically apart — during a deadly pandemic.
Religious opposition to public health policies is increasing across Canada. In violation of public health directives, some church organizations continue to organize massive marches and in-person services.
Two independent lawmakers are among a group of people charged with violating COVID-19 lockout restrictions by attending a massive church service in Aylmer, Ont. last month.
Meanwhile, there is anger after a church near Edmonton was forcibly closed in April by Alberta Health Services.
Meanwhile, a church near Edmonton was forcefully closed by Alberta Health Services in April, causing outrage.
Church lawyers questioned the powers of Manitoba’s chief public officer of health during the first phase of court proceedings in February, claiming they are too expansive and far-reaching, and that Dr. Brent Roussin is making decisions without public consultation or supervision.