Global Research / Prof. Anthony J. Hall
Jocelyne Gagné, Associate Chief Justice of Canada’s Federal Court, has extended the growing pattern of judicial negligence in dealing with legal disputes concerning COVID restrictions and mandates imposed by federal and provincial governments.
Justice Gagné has decided not to hand down a ruling on a particular group of cases alleging that the Trudeau government violated Canada’s constitution with its prohibition on air and rail travel for the unvaccinated.
The cases were put before the courts by litigants who accused the Canadian government of violating the mobility rights of Canadians as recognized and affirmed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Honorable Brian Peckford, former Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, has been the most visible and outspoken public proponent of the core principles that have now been denied their day in court by Associate Chief Justice Gagné. In 1981 Premier Peckford helped draft the Charter. He was one of the ten provincial and federal First Ministers who led their governments in ratifying the Charter as part of a larger package of constitutional amendments known as Constitution Act 1982.
In his public explanation to Canadians of his decision to use the courts as a means of trying to force the Trudeau government to respect the rights and freedoms of Canadians as articulated in the Charter, he described the document at issue as Canada’s “National Law.” According to Peckford, the dismissive treatment of the Charter, first by the Trudeau government and now by the Federal Court, is reflective of Canada’s sorry “state of acquiescence and servitude unworthy of our history.” See this.
Justice Gagné based her decision on her acceptance of the Trudeau government’s argument that the matter was “moot.” She accepted the submission of the lawyers representing the federal government that the federal travel restrictions have been suspended since June, so there are no longer any pressing issues to be addressed.
In response to Justice Gagné’s decision, the legal council for the applicants that brought the cases against the Canadian government commented, “the travel mandate represents one of the most egregious infringements of Canadians’ mobility rights in Canadian history, and in our view, striking the law suit out before it is heard– and while the Canadian Prime Minister continues to threaten Canadians with further COVID restrictions, is a grave injustice.” See this.
The Stark Contradiction between the Charter’s Protection of Rights and Freedoms and Government Imposition of COVID Restrictions and Mandates
We are now almost three years into the manufactured COVID crisis. Throughout this period the judiciary in Canada has neglected to do due diligence by clarifying for we the citizens how to navigate the stark legal contradiction that has engulfed the Canadian polity since the celebrity virus began to be featured as the primary subject in world news.
This contradiction sets the Charter of Rights and Freedom adopted in 1982 against the COVID restrictions and mandates imposed by the federal and provincial governments. The Charter was meant to protect not only mobility rights but the full array of individual rights including those of freedom of expression, assembly, religion, and bodily autonomy. As in many countries, the individuals’ rights once proclaimed as sacrosanct were made to sink beneath the weight of the COVID restrictions and mandates. For instance, many have faced all manner of discriminatory recriminations, including loss of employment and access to education, for opting not to receive government-mandated jabs that we now know have killed and injured many millions worldwide.
This state of affairs in the ill-defined twilight zone between Canadians’ Charter of rights and the coercive impositions of government dictates even into the actual bodies of the Canadian people, remains shrouded in uncertainty. Our governments have been pushing us coercively in one direction while the apparent force of Canada’s “supreme law”– including the Charter– attracts us in the opposite direction.
The creation of such tension, confusion and uncertainty in determining what conduct lies inside or outside the rule of law is not conducive to social stability, sound economic interactions, or personal wellbeing. Many police officers throughout Canada have been put in especially stressful positions. Their higher conscience and sense of personal duty may draw many police officers to use their professional discretion in order to uphold the Charter. Concurrently, their sense of responsibility as, for instance, the primary breadwinners of their families might cause police officers to simply follow the orders emanating from very politicized chains of command. One such chain leads upwards to the anti-Charter zealots presently inhabiting the Office of the Canadian Prime Minister.
The dilemma facing police officers is representative of the conflicts experienced by many. Since 2020 countless variations of the widespread phenomena of conflicting loyalties have permeated human interactions across many realms of personal and collective activity.
The courts are the only institutions in a position to legally resolve the widespread conflict of interest, loyalties, perceptions, and actions. But for some cruel and unexplained reason, the judiciary right up to the Supreme Court of Canada have denied the Canadian people the sole remedy that would have injected a degree of certainty into the unfolding fiasco that since 2020 has destabilized the world in such deep, pervasive and proliferating ways.
The judiciary has been playing fast and loose with the rule of law during the duration of this WHO-declared pandemic. This judicial folly is now highlighted and symbolized by Justice Gagné’s atrocious decision. From her judicial podium Justice Gagné has declared that the issues raised by the most intrusive and far-reaching government attacks ever in Canada on individuals’ rights, freedoms and liberties have simply become “moot.” Unfortunately this kind of low-end thinking at the high-end of power is all-too-typical of the sad state of Canada after seven years of Justin Trudeau’s reign of increasingly inept and irresponsible governance.
The Violated Charter Rights of Canadians Have Now Become “Moot”
The Federal Court’s refusal to address the elephant in the room is thoughtfully described in an article by Alexander Brighton entitled “Justice Delayed, Justice Denied.” Brighton asserts, “The entire handling of these challenges [concerning government travel prohibitions for the “unvaccinated”] is a grave miscarriage of justice, a part of a deeply concerning trend occurring in Canada, both generally, and in particular concerning any attempt to hold the provincial or federal governments accountable for their pandemic policies.” The author goes on to make a striking comparison. He writes, “Imagine the court ruling on the government’s use of residential schools as ‘moot.’ Stop living in the past! The schools are closed! It was a different government.”
Brighton sums up his argument, writing, “In short, to Justice Gagne, the most unprecedented government restrictions of civil liberties since the FLQ crisis in the 1970s are moot now. Harms from government policies are hypothetical or abstract.” See this.
To indicate as does Justice Gagné that problems with medical restrictions and mandates are now over and done with– that they have become “moot”– constitutes a grave misapprehension that calls into question professional acumen of Canada’s Federal Court. The Federal Court presumably holds many of the keys that can unlock access to the proceedings of the Supreme Court of Canada. Instead of pushing along a major constitutional challenge to the highest court in the land, the Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court is doing her best to incarcerate a core Canadian controversy in permanent quarantine.
The continuing nature of the manufactured COVID crisis was underlined when, in mid-October, Justin Trudeau resumed his imperious issuing of implied threats to promote the continuing booster shots along with flu shots for Canadians. On October 17 it was reported that the Prime Minister said, “If we are able to get a high enough level of vaccination, we can reduce the danger of having to take other health measures to make sure that we’re all safe and not overloading our hospitals.” See this.
What “other health measures” is Trudeau contemplating if Canadians fail to comply with his prime ministerial instructions? What is to be said of yet another attempt by a public official to scare us into compliance by recycling yet again unfounded prophecies of “overloaded hospitals” to come. Do you remember the flood of dance videos filmed by COVID nurses with time on their hands in empty hospitals. When will the regime media stop disgracing itself by reproducing such declarations without putting the blatant fear mongering in context?
In spite of the zealousness of the ongoing cover up, the news has now become inescapable even in the dark enclaves of government health departments that the COVID jabs are sometimes deadly and often injurious, Justin Trudeau is doing himself no favours by appearing on television to flaunt either his utter dishonesty or his ignorance in totally denying what is really going on.
Sooner or later Trudeau will have to face some reckoning with his own prominent role in the genesis of the massive health care disaster currently unfolding around the world. With his ongoing repetitions of the unscientific mantra that the mRNA gene insertion injections are totally “safe,” is the Prime Minister drawing citizens towards injury or worse? Will Trudeau ever face trials himself as the accused in major criminal proceedings for his lies-based handling of the COVID files?
Many other signals are being sent that more invasive restrictions are on their way, restrictions now starting to turn the corner from COVID towards a probable onslaught of ill-considered “Green” restrictions and mandates. Did the illegal COVID Lockdowns prepare the way for Climate Change Lockdowns to come? Who is pushing this agenda? By now it is well established that Trudeau is one of the most notorious political puppets of Big Money corporatists who base their globalist enterprises at the WHO, at the other Bill Gates “philanthropies,” as well as at BlackRock Corp. and the World Economic Forum. This list is far from complete.
We may or may or may not be moving away from one phase of the COVID crisis. Nevertheless, the protagonists in what I have described as the COVID-19 power grab have made it clear they are not done with us yet, far from it. Unfortunately it seems the protagonists can anticipate that the Canadian judiciary will remain compliant with their agenda of “Great Reset” that serves the few by further eliminating and subjugating the many.
Liberal Party Judges on the Make
The possibility of systematic Liberal Party manipulation of our heavily politicized judiciary cannot be ignored. In 2018 the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau elevated Justice Gagné to her current role as Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada. See this.
The Trudeau government also appointed another known Liberal Party judge, Paul Rouleau, to the job of chairing the parliamentary inquiry into the Liberal-NDP government’s decision to invoke the Emergency Act in February of 2022. Of Rouleau the Edmonton Sun reported that he is “a member of the Liberal party, supporter of the Liberal party, worked for the Liberal party and was appointed to the bench by a past Liberal prime minister, Paul Martin.” See this.
Moreover, Rouleau was for a time a partner at Heenan Blaike, the Montreal law firm that employed Justin’s father, the former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
Julie Bourgeois embodies the most obvious case of a Liberal Party judge jumping in to assist the Liberal Party leader in carrying out an aspect of his very personal political vendetta against a key leader of the Truckers’ Freedom Convoy. With great effectiveness this Convoy and its supporters famously embarrassed the inept Canadian Prime Minister in front of a global audience. The Truckers and their supporters brought to wide public attention in North America and across the world the intellectual and ethical poverty of the COVID policies promoted by the Canadian government and by other WEF puppet governments such as those in the Netherlands, New Zealand, California, Australia and France.
Before opting to help her friend. Justin Trudeau, in his attempt to criminalize the imagery of the Canadian Truckers, Judge Bourgeois was an unsuccessful Liberal candidate in the federal election of 2011. She was personally endorsed in her campaign by Justin Trudeau. See this.
On February 22 Judge Bourgeois denied bail to Tamara Lich, the very amiable founder of the Freedom Convoy movement. Lich was jailed in Ottawa for the alleged crime of “counselling mischief.” Having been convicted of nothing, Ms Lich faced harsh condemnations in her first court hearing before Judge Bourgeois. Reports show that the presiding judge found the Convoy leader was “obstinate and disingenuous” in answering questions. On this basis Judge Bourgeois ordered that the alleged counsellor of mischief must stay in jail because her continued detention without conviction was “necessary for the protection and safety of the public.”
When she discovered later that the judge who had decided to deny her bail had been a Liberal candidate endorsed by Justin Trudeau, Ms Lich signed an affidavit. In it Ms Lich stated that if she had had the relevant information, she would have asked that Juge Bourgeois recuse herself from the case. See this.
Judge Bourgeois’ role in the Tamara Lich lynching seems to have offered encouragement to other officers in the most politicized wing of the Liberal Party-friendly branch of law enforcement. The Liberal Party servants of the Crown decided to help Trudeau use the courts in order to participate in the attempt to turn public opinion against the Canadian Truckers’ movement. This pattern of Liberal infiltration of the RCMP and other branches of the criminal justice system seems particularly demonstrable in the appalling treatment of key figures in the Truckers’ demonstration at Coutts Alberta. See this and this.
If there had been a timely and fair judicial process to assess the legal role of the Charter of Right and Freedoms in government responses to the appearance of the new coronavirus, perhaps much trouble could have been headed off. Perhaps there would have been no need for a Canadian Truckers’ movement to give expression to the response of many that there was something truly rotten going on in Canada as a result of the manufactured hysteria leading to the restrictions and mandates imposed in the name of fighting COVID-19.
The History of the Constitution Act 1982 including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms emerged from an era of Canadian history of avid competition between the forces of Canadian federalism and the forces of Québécois independence. The federalist forces were led by Justin’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Premier Rene Levesque led a provincial party devoted to realizing the formation of an independent Quebec. Trudeau beat Levesque in 1980 in a referendum asking Quebec citizens to vote yes or no on Quebec independence. Energized and empowered by this major political win under his belt, Pierre Trudeau initiated a process aimed at realizing his vision of a rejuvenated Canada. He sought to legally remove Canada from its remaining constitutional ties to Great Britain whose Armed Forces had seized control of Canada from imperial France in 1759.
Trudeau’s initiative led in 1981 to the formulation of a number of new constitutional instruments including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On the way to this formulation the Trudeau government decided to call on the imperial Parliament in Great Britain one last time to make laws for Canada. The British role in creating a foundation for Canada’s governance should not be underestimated. It was, for instance, the British Imperial Parliament that ratified the British North America Act of 1867. The BNA Act included a provision for a new National Parliament to be based in the new capital city of Ottawa.
Pierre Trudeau’s goal was to put in place a new legal framework that would enable the Canadian people and governments to develop our own made-in-Canada forms of governance. In other parts of the world this same process of colonial secession from the British Empire was frequently described as “decolonization.”
As a so-called “White Dominion,” Canada’s constitutional evolution within the British Empire and the British Commonwealth has been somewhat different than the British colonial structures developed in Africa and Asia where Indigenous peoples never were marginalized to the same extent as happened in the colonization of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The British government treated its South African colony also as a “White Dominion” even though the Indigenous peoples remained the majority population.
All of the new constitutional provisions, including the Charter plus new provisions “recognizing and affirming existing Aboriginal and treaty rights,” were sanctioned by the legislature of 9 out of 10 Canadian provinces. Ratification also took place in the Canadian Parliament, the British Parliament and in a signing ceremony by Queen Elizabeth. The Levesque-led government of the province of Quebec did not take part in the process, including the process of drafting and ratifying the Charter. This placement of the province of Quebec outside the process of constitutional ratification continues to this day. The National Assembly of Quebec has not sanctioned through a vote in the legislature the adoption of the Constitution Act 1982 including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Former Premier Brian Peckford took centre stage in the public education campaign leading up to Justice Gagné’s recent snubbing of the Charter cases challenging the legality of the federal government’s COVID restrictions and mandates. Peckford contributed significantly to the circuit of live and social media presentations that also included the widely webcast information sessions hosted in Ottawa by Tamara Lich and the other members, allies and supporters of the Truckers’ Freedom Convoy. In explaining the genesis and attributes of the Charter, Brian Peckford made frequent reference to his own role in drafting the Charter and in ushering it and the rest of the Constitution Act 1982 through the Legislature of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Charter as a Platform of Political Lobbying to Favour Some Interests Over Others
Section 1 of the Charter presents an important qualifier which potentially limits the scope of all the rights and freedoms of individual Canadian citizens. Section I asserts,
“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it are subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”This seemingly innocuous phrase has proven to be hugely controversial. Some see the Charter controversies as the basis of a huge makework project that has greatly enriched the Canadian legal profession including its judicial branch. The Charter has faced significant criticism because of the huge discretion it creates for appointed judges to sometimes overrule the decision-making authority of elected officials.
Section 1 of the Charter must be read in relation to Section 52 of the Constitution Act 1982. Section 52 (1) asserts“The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.”
This provision empowers members of the Canadian judiciary to defend the exercise of Charter rights and freedoms “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” This “subject to” phrase has created a very large space for the expression of almost unlimited judicial discretion in altering the design of Canada’s legal landscape.
The vague and wide open character of this language facilitates the application of much subjectivity in the legal interpretation of Canada’s parliamentary and legislative enactments. The result has given rise to a juridical industry in Canada where lawyers and the judges that emerge from the practice of law can often take wide and well-remunerated license to act as proponents devoted to raising the “rights” of interests over “rights” of other interests.
A good example of the role of judges in the process of Charter interpretation took place in 1990 when the Supreme Court decided to see whether the “Hate Propaganda” laws in Canada’s Criminal Code should be retained in light of the Free Speech provisions in Section 2 (b) of the Charter. The “Hate Propaganda” sections were retained on the basis of a bare majority vote by four of the seven Supreme Court Justices. Three Justices articulated the position that the “Hate Propaganda” laws in Canada’s Criminal Code should be eliminated in light of the institution of Canada’s then-recent “supreme law.” Judge Beverly McLaughlin drafted the position of the three dissenting Justices who agreed that the retention of the “Hate Propaganda” laws would have a “crippling effect” on the vitality and boldness of public discourse in Canada.
In discussing the lower court’s finding on the guilt of the defendant in the Keegstra case, Judge McLaughlin explained why the Hate Propaganda and Hate Speech provisions of the Criminal Code should be eliminated. She argued that the definition of Hate Speech in the Criminal Code was so vague as to be “virtually unlimited.” Moreover, the retention of the Hate Speech instrument as Canadian law would have a “chilling effect.” It would impose sharp constraints on the “vital values” of the Free Speech provisions of the Charter, values that favour the “fostering a vibrant and creative society through the marketplace of ideas; the value of the vigorous and open debate essential to democratic government and preservation of our rights and freedoms; and the value of a society which fosters the self‑actualization and freedom of its members. See this.
The Charter has established a framework to create and energize well-funded lobbies organized to influence public opinion, politicians and especially the judiciary as lead officers of the courts. The judges have it in their power to determine how far certain rights can be pushed before they become so demonstrably unreasonable that they become unjustifiable in “free and democratic society.” This combination of judicial and lobbying functions can easily produce slippage from legitimate legal interpretation into the realm of advocacy politics buried beneath the guise of jurisprudence.
This consideration sets the background and context for Justice Gagne’s decision to not decide the supposedly “moot” matter of how the Charter does or does not apply to the COVID restrictions and mandates of governments. Justice Gagne’s evasion of judicial responsibility to assess the dysfunction of the Charter and its advocates during the COVID crisis would not seem so conspicuous if it had not been for the huge resources poured into interpreting the Charter’s real world effects and legal implications.This work has been done in ways that have greatly enriched the legal profession including its judicial arm.
Under these circumstances it is difficult to accept the argument of the Trudeau government as mirrored by Justice Gagné. Both the PM and the Judge agree that there is no pressing need to arbitrate the federal COVID restrictions and mandates in light of the Charter’s promise to recognize and affirm the mobility rights of Canadians. Such issues are said to have become too abstract and ephemeral to justify a significant apportionment of expensive and scarce court time.
It seems there are powerful interests with significant stakes in retaining the precedents set throughout the WHO-declared pandemic, precedents like those that support future transmedical experiments on human subjects without their informed consent. These interests, it seems, do not want certain questions asked let alone answered, but especially within the extremely influential forum of judicial arbitration.
A Real Emergency Growing from a Manufactured Emergency
In going along with the manufactured COVID crisis, governments of many countries often violated the national equivalents to Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Just as the governments of most countries agreed to impose the same set of COVID restrictions and mandates on their citizens,so the same governments found ways to avoid the enforcement of laws for the protection of human rights and civil liberties.
Obviously there are some very powerful forces at work at the global level to coordinate transnationally what laws would be enforced and what laws would be sidelined or ignored at the national, state, provincial and even municipal levels. The violation of many aspects of many national constitutions, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, finds many equivalents at the international level.
For example, what forces are at work to prevent investigations and legal enforcement of many international treaties, conventions and protocols that were supposed to protect humans from the kind of medicalized invasions we have been experiencing for well over two years. What happened, for instance, to sideline the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Nuremberg Code on the requirements of medical experimentation on human subjects.? Why were all our supposed domestic and international protections for our exercises of human rights disengaged just at the time we needed them the most?
Ths failure to adjudicate and enforce the Canadian Charter, therefore, is one manifestation of a worldwide disaster that has by no means become moot. The unfolding disaster is in fact probabl still in its infancy. If the courts in Canada continue to remain a big part of the problem rather than becoming a major part of the solution in the real emergency growing out of the manufactured emergency, what should be done? What are the responsibilities of citizenship when our governing institutions continue to fail us so consistently, seemingly without accountability or even without any public remorse from those most responsible for the worst devastation?
With some few exceptions, judges in Canada have been mostly unwilling to demonstrate their judicial independence from the government policies and actions that have taken centre stage during the COVID crisis. In case after case involving COVID-related legal disputes, the Canadian judiciary seems to be caught in the headlights of a festering constitutional crisis largely of its own making.
Generally speaking members of the judiciary have in most instances simply assumed the veracity of statistical and other evidence put forward by governments. In other words, the judges have by and large accepted as “fact” the government side of adversarial cases. Such “facts” are often no such thing. Such “facts” often emerged from secret and flawed processes of governments that are often subject to all kinds of political pressure to produce certain outcomes such as increasing the profitability of favoured drug companies.
Judicial overdependence on government interpretations as well as the judicial tendency in COVID-related matters to downgrade or disregard the evidence brought forward by individuals or by non-governmental organizations is proving to have injurious and sometimes even lethal outcomes for members of the public. Too often government mistakes and even lies are misinterpreted as legal “facts” when they are actually no such thing.
The judicial determination of legal facts requires diligent and open-minded evaluations of the litigants on all sides of the legal contentions at issue.
The unwillingness of Justice Gagné to even hear the Peckford approach to the constitutional crisis created by the judicial disregard of the Canadian Charter is one indication of the nature of a much larger pattern of criminal malfeasance. Canadian judges have been overly inclined to make themselves agents and facilitators of government COVID policies.
Alternatively the Canadian judges have, like the regime media, been much too quick to disregard the evidence of many learned analysts whose diagnoses, interpretations and predictions have proven to be much more accurate than the prognostications produced by bought-and-paid-for government experts.
By and large most of our judges in Canada have simply bypassed their professional duty to dig down deep into the nitty gritty of competing collections of evidence and interpretations in order to identify the truth and weed out mistakes, fabrications, distortions and lies. Such open-minded yet skeptical assessment of all sides of the legal contentions in COVID-related cases is the only way to determine genuine “facts.” Anything else is judicial dependence on mere assumptions disguised as “facts” sometimes by powerful interests working behind the scenes.
The unwillingness of most judges to give fair consideration to all sides of COVID contentions has not gone unnoticed. Over time there is increased awareness of judicial bias is generating growing public hostility towards the courts and the magistrates that preside over them. This hostility shows similarities to the popular frustration that accompanied the decision of the US Supreme Court not to address the evidence of what seemed like massive fraud in the US presidential election of 2020.The US Supreme Court lost much respect and credibility in the eyes of many Americans when the country’s top judges refused to even look at the mass of evidence that seemed to show that vote rigging had occurred on a massive scale. The same trajectory of soured public opinion is starting to emanate from the fact that Canadian judges are apparently attached to the large perks of public office but not to the heavy responsibilities they bear towards a society that depends on them to offer checks, especially when overzealous governments resort to coercive authoritarianism.
COVID and Alberta Independence
The failure of Canada’s federal courts combined with the failures of many other national institutions, including Parliament, is stimulating much interest in Albertans, including in me, to seek significant alternatives to the Confederation we have known since 1867. The antagonism towards the national government is becoming so marked that there is growing popular agitation for assertive exercises of provincial sovereignty or maybe even outright secession and independence.
This mood is beginning to permeate the Office of the new Alberta Premier, Danielle Smith. Smith will face off next May in a provincial election with former NDP Premier Rachel Notley. The Smith government in Alberta is already drafting what the new Premier is describing as an ‘Alberta Sovereignty Act.”
Premier Smith recently made it clear she has lost patience with the subordination of Alberta health care institutions to the Trudeau government’s approach to medical restrictions and mandates. As Klaus Schwab regularly boasts, much of the cabinet in the Trudeau government take their lead from the Davos-based World Economic Forum. See this.
The veering away of many Albertans from Justin Trudeau’s, Jagmeet Singh’s and Rachel Notley’s favourite international organization is reflective of a province that has sent exactly one Liberal Party MP to Ottawa in the last two elections. In the growing Canada-Alberta divide, the COVID restrictions and mandates are becoming clear centres of gravity in federal provincial relations. To back up this contention I conclude with a video where Danielle Smith acknowledges serious discrimination inflicted especially on the unvaccinated.