Former Windsor City Workers To See If Injection Passport Case Can Proceed

A group of former city workers in Windsor, Ontario, is waiting to see if their lawsuit will be thrown out in the preliminary stages, or whether it will be able to proceed to Trial.

This is another case of people taking legal action as a result of being forced out of their employment in 2021 and 2022 due to so-called “vaccine passports”.

August 2022, former employees City (or Corporation) of Windsor — 20, at the time — brought their Statement of Claim. It alleges that all Plaintiffs were either fired or forced to resign for refusing to take the injections.

Now for the bad news….

The City of Windsor is bringing a Motion to throw out the lawsuit on a number of grounds. Foremost, Windsor claims that all of the Plaintiffs are unionized, or subject to some sort of collective bargaining agreement, which mandates alternative dispute measures. This is the grievance process, which often ends in arbitration.

The Motion also states that all of the major issues here have been litigated and decided before, and thus, there’s nothing new to look at.

February 2023, their Motion Record — collection of documents was sent.

March 2023, the Responding Motion Record was filed.

May 2023, an Amended Statement of Claim was filed. It both added new Plaintiffs, and expanded on the information laid out in the original Claim. However, that may be an issue considering the Claim was changed after the Motion was filed.

The Motion won’t be heard until July of 2024, which is several months away. In the meantime, there are still other procedural steps to be done, and other documents to be filed.

This is hardly the first such case to be filed. Unfortunately, there has been little success so far in convincing the Courts that the unions are not acting in good faith, or that the collective bargaining process is corrupted. We’ll have to see what becomes of this case.

Expect a follow-up as things develop.

ABOUT THE GROUP
(1) https://www.em-power.ca/
(2) https://twitter.com/em_POWER_on
(3) Empower – Press Release

COURT DOCUMENTS
(1) Empower – Statement Of Claim
(2) Empower – Amended Statement Of Claim
(3) Empower – Moving Party Motion Record
(4) Empower – Respondents Motion Record

Federal Court Strikes Claim By Coast Guard Worker Over Pay Issues, Cites Lack Of Jurisdiction

A member of the Canadian Coast Guard, Jennifer Horsman has had her challenge thrown out of the Federal Court, and lack of jurisdiction is cited.

This isn’t a case about being forced to take the clot-shots, but it’s still interesting. In August 2022, her employer claimed that she had been overpaid nearly $9,000, the remainder of a larger amount that was supposedly owed. Horsman says she kept her own records of all dates and shifts and contested the demand. This caused financial hardship.

She also tried to seek union representation, but was denied.

Despite attempts to resolve this internally, Horsman was unsuccessful. She eventually ended up suing the Government in March 2023 to resolve this, and here’s where it takes a turn.

Ottawa brought a Rule 221 Motion to Strike (throw out) the lawsuit on the grounds that the Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case at all.

Looking at Sections 208 and 236 of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act, FPSLRA:

Individual Grievances
Presentation
Right of employee
.
208 (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (7), an employee is entitled to present an individual grievance if he or she feels aggrieved
.
(a) by the interpretation or application, in respect of the employee, of
.
(i) a provision of a statute or regulation, or of a direction or other instrument made or issued by the employer, that deals with terms and conditions of employment, or
.
(ii) a provision of a collective agreement or an arbitral award; or
.
(b) as a result of any occurrence or matter affecting his or her terms and conditions of employment.

Section 208 then goes on to list a series of conditions and limitations.

Disputes relating to employment
.
236 (1) The right of an employee to seek redress by way of grievance for any dispute relating to his or her terms or conditions of employment is in lieu of any right of action that the employee may have in relation to any act or omission giving rise to the dispute.

Application
(2) Subsection (1) applies whether or not the employee avails himself or herself of the right to present a grievance in any particular case and whether or not the grievance could be referred to adjudication.

Taken together, it seems laid out that Federal workers have the rights to file grievances, but they have no real right to take their problems to Court.

This ruling confirms the Adelberg decision, a high profile ruling in February 2023 that permanently ended the cases of over 400 Federal workers. Another 200 workers of Federally regulated industries had a setback as well, since the pleading was so poorly drafted.

Adelberg was also cited by a former RCMP worker, whose case was struck because of the FPSLRA.

Lesson in here: members of the Federal Government, as well as most unionized employers, have no guaranteed right to go to Court. There’s almost always a grievance or arbitration requirement.

If there’s any consolation here, it’s that the person wasn’t ordered to pay any costs. Yes, the Attorney General asked, but the Judge declined. She also didn’t waste many thousands of dollars hiring a lawyer to get the exact same result. Still, she has guts for at least attempting this.

(1) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2023/2023fc929/2023fc929.html
(2) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2023/2023fc929/2023fc929.pdf
(3) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/regu/sor-98-106/latest/sor-98-106.html
(4) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/stat/sc-2003-c-22-s-2/latest/sc-2003-c-22-s-2.html
(5) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2023/2023fc252/2023fc252.html
(6) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2023/2023fc280/2023fc280.html

Statement Of Defence Filed In High Profile Bridle Lawsuit

Just before Christmas last year, a 73 page Statement of Claim was filed in Toronto, involving Byram Bridle and the University of Guelph. News of this development lit up the alternative media in Canada. It alleged a grand conspiracy to harass the Plaintiff and destroy his career. While an interesting read, it came across as being very difficult to prove.

It seemed very odd that Bridle was presented both as an expert developing Covid vaccines, and a conscientious objector fighting against Covid vaccine mandates. There’s also no virus, but that’s a discussion for another time.

And since then?

The Defendants responded with an 8 page Statement of Defence. It doesn’t really address the specific allegations, other than to issue a blanket denial. As an aside, it doesn’t appear that David Fisman is covered by this Statement.

To sum up the document in as few words as possible: “Oh yeah? Prove it.”

Several other defences are also raised:

  • The University of Guelph claims that the issues between Bridle, the school, and the various staff members are to be considered an employment dispute. As such, the Court would lack jurisdiction to hear the case, as it would likely be subjected to the collective bargaining rules, which mandate arbitration.
  • On a procedural note, the Defence points out that: (a) there isn’t a concise set of material facts provided; and (b) the Claim attempts to plead evidence.
  • It’s claimed that portions of the lawsuit would be barred by the Limitations Act. This sets time limits as to how long potential litigants have to file.
  • Section 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act (anti-SLAPP), is raised concerning the online postings. While this would only apply to a portion of the case, everything would be put on hold until that’s resolved. That will take a year or 2.

Even if the Claim were struck because it’s poorly written — which is possible — that’s not a permanent solution. It can likely be redone.

The other defences, such as the Statute of Limitations and collective bargaining, can pose a much bigger problem. Those have the potential to get large portions of the Claim gutted.

Guelph and the other Defendants seem content to dig in, and force Bridle to actually prove his claims at Trial.

Now for the $3 million question: will anything happen to this case? Or will it remain in limbo for years, like so many dead-end lawsuits? We’ll have to see.

(1) https://www.ontario.ca/page/search-court-cases-online
(2) https://canucklaw.ca/wp-content/uploads/Byram-Bridle-Statement-Of-Claim.pdf
(3) https://canucklaw.ca/wp-content/uploads/Byram-Bridle-Statement-Of-Defence.pdf
(4) https://canucklaw.ca/byram-bridle-lawsuit-unlikely-to-ever-get-anywhere/

Program To Let Visitors Apply For Work Permits Extended Until At Least 2025

This concerns a recent announcement that’s worth revisiting. A 2020 policy that gave work visas to foreign visitors has been extended for at least another 24 months.

In August 2020, with a “global pandemic” supposedly underway, Ottawa made changes that went largely under the radar. Foreigners on visitor visas would be able to get work in Canada without first having to leave the country.

The stated reasons never made any sense.

Change intended to benefit employers who are still facing difficulties finding workers
August 24, 2020 —Ottawa— Visitors who are currently in Canada and have a valid job offer will be able to apply for an employer-specific work permit and, if approved, receive the permit without having to leave the country, thanks to a new public policy announced today by the Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

This temporary policy change takes effect immediately and will benefit employers in Canada who continue to face difficulties finding the workers they need, as well as temporary residents who would like to contribute their labour and skills to Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, temporary residents who remained in Canada were encouraged to maintain valid legal status. With air travel limited around the world, some visitors to Canada have been unable to leave, while some foreign workers had to change their status to visitor because their work permit was expiring and they didn’t have a job offer to be able to apply for a new work permit. Some employers in Canada have also faced ongoing labour and skills shortages throughout this period, including those who provide important goods and services that Canadians rely on.

This is the requirement that there be a labour market impact assessment (LIMA) performed. And that would make the visitor a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) if they took the position.

Of course, the obvious questions have to be asked:

(a) Why were there a large amount of foreign visitors in Canada in August 2020 if a “pandemic” had been declared several months earlier?

(b) How were there huge labour shortages if Governments were ordering entire industries to be closed in the name of safety?

(c) If these shortages existed, why were all kinds of financial supports in place to keep Canadians from working? CERB comes to mind.

(d) Why are there all these TFW positions available if people are being forced out of work in the name of public safety?

The program was then extended in March 2021, even as there were still lockdowns and “circuit breaker” shutdowns of various industries in this country. It was stated that over 1,000 people had thus far taken advantage of this. However, it didn’t give any estimate as to how many over 1,000 that was.

Remember, the Fall of 2021 is when the vaccine passports hit.

It wasn’t just visitors who are needed to work. In October 2022, Ottawa scrapped a rule that limited international students to working 20 hours per week when classes were ongoing. The IRCC also admits that nearly 100% of applications to extend study permits are granted.

A further update in November 2022 meant that visitors had to remain in Canada (and couldn’t leave) while their applications were being processed.

A month ago, in February 2023, it was extended yet again. It’s now set to expire at the end of February 2025, assuming further changes don’t happen. The stated reason is to cope with labour shortages due to rapid economic expansion.

To summarize:

  • Canada had severe labour shortages in 2020, even as businesses were ordered to close, due to the so-called global pandemic. We had to let anyone and everyone get permission to work.
  • These shortages continued into the Spring of 2021, again, despite continued shutdowns that were mandated by the Government.
  • International students — who were normally capped at working 20 hours per week — suddenly are eligible to work as much as they want
  • We needed workers so badly, that in 2022, a policy change meant that people applying for a work permit under this program weren’t allowed to leave while it was being processed.
  • Canada still has severe labour shortages in 2023, despite letting in over a million people — at least officially — in the previous year.

It’s worth pointing out that there doesn’t seem to be any limit on the number of people who can apply. The LIMA requirement still seems to be in place.

Ever get the feeling that the “official numbers” are way off?

(1) https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2020/08/new-temporary-public-policy-will-allow-visitors-to-apply-for-a-work-permit-without-having-to-leave-canada.html
(2) https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/notices/extension-public-policy-visitors-apply-work-permits.html
(3) https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2022/10/international-students-to-help-address-canadas-labour-shortage.html
(4) https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/updates/2022-visitors-apply-work-permit.html
(5) https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/notices/visit-to-work.html

Federal Court Ruling Confirms Lack Of Jurisdiction In Most Employment Matters

The Federal Court of Canada has confirmed a decision that Court lacks jurisdiction with many employment matters due to the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act, or FPSLRA.

While this isn’t specifically related to vaccine passports, there is overlap with the reasons this case was thrown out.

Dreena Davis works for the RCMP Employee & Management Relations Office Workplace Responsibility Unit, as an Internal Conflict Management Practitioner. The problems go back to 2017, and the specifics are beyond the scope of this article.

As a side note: it’s always interesting to see someone self-representing, as was the case here. Just because lawyers are involved, it doesn’t mean they are worth the expense.

From the ruling:

[24] On January 14, 2022, the Defendant moved to strike the claim on the basis that: (i) the essential character of the Plaintiff’s claims are employment issues which are regulated by an exclusive labour relations regime, therefore pursuant to section 236 of the Act the Plaintiff has no right of action; (ii) the Plaintiff’s recourse is to grieve each of her employment-related allegations and proceed with those grievances until their final resolution, as to do otherwise would create a parallel system; (iii) if there are allegations relating to her dissatisfaction with administrative decisions then the proper remedy is judicial review of any final decision after proceeding through the complaints process; and (iv) the claim is an abuse of process as the Plaintiff is seeking to make a collateral attack on administrative findings.

[25] In response to the motion to strike, the Plaintiff submits that “Part 2 of the [Act] does not apply to the excluded and unrepresented employees due to the Legislative error.” She alleges that legislative error occurred in 2003 when Parliament attempted to import the excluded and unrepresented employees into the Act by changing the definition of an “employee”. She submits that the grounds of the Defendant’s motion relating to the complete code as comprised in the Act, including section 236, are therefore “moot” because the Act does not apply to unrepresented employees on the basis of this legislative error.

[26] The Plaintiff further submitted in response that “there is no grievance procedure for the unrepresented employee within the RCMP”. She requests that the Court use its residual discretion on the basis that harassment and systemic negligence constitute extraordinary circumstances. The Plaintiff alleges that the grievance process was a sham and corrupt, as was the grievance system generally. Alternatively, the Plaintiff requested that she be able to apply in the appropriate forum.

In fairness, there were issues with the drafting itself, but those can often be fixed by amendment, or by redrafting.

What’s odd is that the Plaintiff appeared to be following the right steps originally. She filed a harassment complaint with the RCMP in December 2018 (paras 11 and 12), but didn’t like the decision. Afterwards, she filed a grievance over the outcome in March 2020, which was escalated internally (paras 13 and 14). June 2021, the grievance was denied.

After that, she filed an Application for Judicial Review in July 2021, in order to quash the earlier findings. This would have been the correct step, if there were issues to look at.

Bizarrely, Davis discontinued the Notice of Application on September 3, 2021, and filed a Statement of Claim on the 9th. Perhaps she found the scope available from an Application was too narrow.

March 2022, there was a hearing, as the RCMP tried to have the case thrown out. While the Claim was “unfocused, argumentative, and convoluted” (para 32), the fatal error came when the Associate Judge ruled that Section 236 of the FPSLRA meant the Courts lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter. The Claim was struck.

A review was sought, and this week a Judge concluded that there was no reversible error. The Federal Court wasn’t able to hear the Claim because of Section 236 of the FPSLRA.

From the ruling, it’s clear that there was some grievance process in place, and that she did make use of it. But the Courts typically don’t get involved in such employment matters.

Davis had also questioned whether the Associate Judge had been accommodating enough to her as a self-represented litigant. The response was that she had been.

Again, this isn’t a vaccine passport case, but there are parallels with the issues. If there is legislation or a collective bargaining agreement in place, there can be virtually no access to the Courts. While she may not have been part of a union, there were other options available, and she used them, the Court found.

(1) https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2023/2023fc280/2023fc280.html

And on the topic of lockdown measures, including vaxx passes….

RECENT LOCKDOWN CASES (LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE BY ANY MEANS)
(A) Ontario Court Rules 12 Year Old Cannot Be Forced To Take Vaxx
(B) Case Thrown Out When Judge “Takes Judicial Notice”
(C) BCSC Throws Out 4 Cases Involving Vaccine Passport
(D.1) Motion To Strike Federal Travel Restrictions Cases For “Mootness”
(D.2) Federal Court Vaccine Passport Challenges All Struck As “Moot”
(E) University Of Lethbridge Vaccine Pass Challenge Thrown Out For “Mootness”
(F) NS Court Of Appeals On Strang’s Ban On Public Gatherings
(G) AB Court Of Appeals Confirms HCW Can Deny Care For Unvaxxed
(H) University Of Western Ontario, And Their Vaxx Pass Getting Upheld
(I) BCSC Throws Out Quesnel Case, Arbitration Mandated As Solution
(J.1) CSASPP Lawsuit Approaching Certification For Class Action Status
(J.2) CSASPP Certification Hearing Videos Now Available Online
(J.3) CSASPP Certification Hearings To Resume In April 2023

(K) UCalgary Prof Files CHRT Complaint To Bring Back Masks On Planes

Canadian Frontline Nurses’ $1 Million Defamation Case Dismissed As A SLAPP

The group Canadian Frontline Nurses, CFLN, has had their million dollar defamation suit thrown out as a SLAPP. This is of course, short for strategic lawsuit against public participation. This is when the Courts are improperly used to silence speech or expression on public interest discussion.

Note: although the ruling has been handed down, it’s not yet posted publicly. It will be included here when that happens.

CFLN and 3 of its members: (a) Kristen Nagle; (b) Sarah Choujounian; and (c) Kristal Pitter, were all listed as Plaintiffs. They had sough general damages for defamation of $750,000.00, and another $250,000.00 for aggravated, exemplary or punitive damages.

This lawsuit centered around 2 articles. Are they worth $1 million?

Article posted by Canadian Nurses Association, September 9, 2021

Enough is enough: professional nurses stand for science-based health care
The reckless views of a handful of discredited people who identify as nurses have aligned in some cases with angry crowds who are putting public health and safety at risk. They have drawn in anti-science, anti-mask, anti-vaccine, anti-public health followers whose beliefs align with theirs. For some reason they would have us believe that millions of the best educated health scientists, public health experts, physicians and nurses globally have all missed something they have not. Their outlandish assertions about science would be laughable were they not so dangerous.

Now the focus is on images of surly mobs happy to stand in front of health-care settings and harass, threaten, and even assault health-care workers coming and going in the business of saving lives. These protests have stunned and saddened exhausted health-care workers. They are demoralizing, infuriating and dangerous.

Anti-public health disinformation threatens to confuse a tired and bewildered public by deliberately misrepresenting personal ideology as facts, and science as conspiracy. The public should be assured that the vast majority of Canada’s 448,000 regulated nurses are united in their commitment to operate from a stringent code of ethics, and they are duty-bound to use science, evidence, and facts in assessing, planning, and evaluating the care they deliver to people across Canada. This scientific approach is a fundamental ideology of modern nursing.

This portion of an article published by the Canadian Nurses Association was quoted to support the defamation claims against the organization and leadership.

Here’s the problem: nowhere in the article are any of the Plaintiffs named. This is a fatal error in a defamation case, as defamatory speech or expression has to be of the person(s) suing. This article could refer to anyone.

However, the Claim states that they were “referred”, and that should be enough. That’s going to be a very tough sell.

Article posted by Together News/Comox Valley, September 11, 2021

There was another article, this one from Comox Valley. While this one did mention the Plaintiffs by name, it appeared to be referencing (for the most part) quotes that they had made. While the January 6 comments seem out of place, it’s difficult to see how these leads to $1 million in damages.

Statements of Defense laid groundwork for anti-SLAPP Motion

The Canadian Nurses Association and Together News both filed Statements of Defense. They raised multiple justifications:

  • CNA statement doesn’t refer to the Plaintiffs (CNA)
  • Words themselves are not defamatory (CNA)
  • Qualified privilege (Both)
  • Responsible communication on matters of public interest (Both)
  • Truth (Both)
  • No malice (Both)
  • No damages incurred (Both)
  • Fair comment (Together News)

CFLN Responding Motion Record Of Plaintiffs
CFLN Cross Examinations Volume 1
CFLN Cross Examinations Volume 2
CFLN Cross Examinations Volume 3
CFLN Supplementary Motion Record Of Plaintiffs

Both documents reference Section 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act, which is the legislation on which anti-SLAPP is based upon. The Defendants signaled that they would be bringing Motions on this. And that’s what they did.

Lawsuits like this actually harm freedom movement

Yes, the “health restrictions” are based on deception and distortions of reality. But this doesn’t help. Considering that these groups claim to be pro-freedom, suing critics makes it difficult to take them seriously.

In December 2020, Kulvinder Gill and Ashvinder Lamba filed a $12.75 million defamation lawsuit against 23 people and media outlets. It was (predictably) thrown out as a SLAPP. Gill still has another $7 million suit against Amir Attaran and the University of Ottawa.

These kinds of suits have exposed a certain sect of society: there are plenty of people who “claim” to support freedom, and free speech, but who don’t. Instead, we have people who selectively support speech depending on the ideology involved.

Appeal is already being promised

Canadian Frontline Nurses is promising to appeal the SLAPP ruling. This is pointless, as the Ontario Court of Appeal isn’t going to overturn any of this.

Now, are they simply getting very poor advice, or are the donations that come in making it all worthwhile?

COURT DOCUMENTS
(1) CFLN Statement Of Claim
(2) CFLN Statement Of Defense CDN Nurses Association
(3) CFLN Statement Of Defense Together News/Comox Valley
(4) CFLN Responding Motion Record Of Plaintiffs
(5) CFLN Cross Examinations Volume 1
(6) CFLN Cross Examinations Volume 2
(7) CFLN Cross Examinations Volume 3
(8) CFLN Supplementary Motion Record Of Plaintiffs
(9) CFLN Freedom Rally Documentation
(10) https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2022/2022onsc7280/2022onsc7280.html
(11) https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2022/2022onsc7280/2022onsc7280.pdf

OTHER LINKS
(1) https://www.canadianfrontlinenurses.ca
(2) https://www.canadianfrontlinenurses.ca/donate
(3) https://t.me/NursesAgainstLockdowns/2229
(4) https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/anti-vaxx-nurse-libel-suit-ontario-1.6698686
(5) https://www.cna-aiic.ca/en/blogs/cn-content/2021/09/09/enough-is-enough-professional-nurses-stand-for-sci
(6) https://comoxvalley.news/quack-quack-these-pro-virus-nurses-have-dangerous-ideas/