This Remembrance Day, as we honour those who died in battle fighting foreign dictatorships, we are now living under a form of medical dictatorship on our own soil. One of Canada's Chief Medical Officers, Alberta's Dr. Deena Hinshaw, makes this point clearly:
“I have the authority by order to prohibit a person from attending a location for any period and subject to any conditions that I consider appropriate, where I have determined that the person engaging in that activity could transmit an infectious agent. I also have the authority to take whatever other steps that are, in my opinion, necessary in order to lessen the impact of the public health emergency.”
Twenty months after being told that Covid would be like the Spanish Flu of 1918, which killed tens of millions around the world, and in spite of government data and statistics proving this fearmongering prediction false, we remain in a permanent state of emergency.
Unlike our war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, where success could be measured by how much enemy-occupied territory we were reclaiming, today's permanent "emergency" is determined arbitrarily by those in power. Only they will decide, in their sole discretion, when the “emergency” has ceased. If governments continue to aim for Covid zero, the lockdowns will never end.
Fear makes people do strange things. Yes, people have died and continue to die from a nasty virus. We should take all reasonable measures to protect the small portion of the population who are truly at risk of severe effects from Covid. But giving authoritarian powers to unelected and unaccountable health bureaucrats – permanently – is directly contrary to everything for which our forefathers fought and died.
On Remembrance Day 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau spoke of the unwavering bravery of our Canadian veterans in battles throughout our history. But few Canadians were present for the ceremonies, having been told by our rulers to stay home. Shops, gyms, restaurants and houses of worship were shuttered, not by some ruthless foreign invader, but by order of our own governments. We were told, not by an occupying foreign power but by our own rulers, that we could only buy “essential” items, and only while covering our faces. We were prohibited from creating precious memories by meeting in person with friends and family. We could not gather in worship together, or sing together. We were denied the right to hold the hand of a dying parent, grandparent, aunt, and uncle – and then prohibited from attending their funerals.
Some of these restrictions have been lifted in part, replaced by vicious and unscientific discrimination against the unpopular minority of Canadians who decline to take the new, experimental mRNA vaccine. I say "experimental" because, unlike other vaccines which took years to develop, the mRNA vaccines that Canadians are now being pressured to take were rushed through development over the course of mere months, and remain subject to ongoing trials.
As we enter our twentieth month of “two weeks to flatten the curve,” freedom is still an incentive dangled just out of our reach. Never before in Canadian history have the country’s citizens been stripped of their human rights and civil liberties on account of what ought be a personal, private and legitimate medical decision. Never before in Canada's history has the right to bodily autonomy been violated on so massive a scale.
Today, it matters not to the government that both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated are able to contract, transmit, and spread viruses. It matters not that both unvaccinated and vaccinated are in hospital. It matters not that recent peer-reviewed science confirms what was common knowledge prior to 2020: that natural immunity is stronger and longer-lasting than vaccine-induced immunity. It matters not that there is abundant evidence of the efficacy of Ivermectin, Vitamin D and other cheap and viable therapies to treat Covid patients and reduce the severity and duration of their Covid symptoms.
What matters to our federal and provincial governments is not science, but making life nearly impossible for a minority group of those living by their consciences. The Charter rights and freedoms of the unvaccinated minority must be wrested from them, in order to compel them to obey without question. We are told that abandoning the right to control our own bodies and make our own personal medical decisions is for “the greater good” and the “public interest.” Does it really serve the greater good or the public interest to deny rights and freedoms to a minority? Has that ever ended well?
This Remembrance Day, family members across Canada are being denied access to their loved ones in nursing homes, for having the "wrong" vaccine status.
This Remembrance Day, for the second year in a row, the blood-red poppy will be displayed on the lapels of haughty government officials who deny Canadians their human rights and civil liberties. I hope that one day these politicians will recognize their hypocrisy, and will instead fight, like our brave and self-sacrificing fallen heroes, to uphold the values at the heart of Canada: freedom and justice for all. These are ideals worth dying for.
For most of human history, in most of the world, dictatorship and authoritarianism were the norm. Free and democratic societies are the outlier, historically and geographically. Individual rights and freedoms are the novelty, respected in a minority of countries today, and only in recent centuries. The free society doesn't just happen; it must be fought for. Always.
Our bodies do not belong to the government. Yet I cannot help but notice the failure of Canada's federal and provincial governments to justify “demonstrably” with persuasive evidence, as required by the Charter, the government's violations of our fundamental rights and freedoms these past 20 months and presently. This Remembrance Day, I remember the free society that Canada used to be.
Lawyer John Carpay is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (jccf.ca).
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