Hearing On Motion To Strike Federal Travel Restrictions Cases For “Mootness”

Canadians have filed several court challenges related to travel restrictions going on since 2020. It appears that 4 cases were consolidated, given their related and overlapping issues. The primary issues revolved around Section 6 of the Charter, Mobility Rights.

  • T-1991-21: Karl Harrison/Shaun Rickard
  • T-145-22: Nabil Ben Naoum
  • T-168-22: Brian Peckford et al.
  • T-247-22: Maxime Bernier

Although the circumstances of each challenge differ, all of them are concerned with Canadians being able to travel and move freely within the country.

Mobility of citizens
6 (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada.
Marginal note: Rights to move and gain livelihood
(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right
(a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and
(b) to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.

However, Section 1 of the Charter has shown just how worthless this document really is. Far from the requirement that limitations be demonstrably justified, Judges have seen fit to uphold these violations based on the flimsiest of justifications.

Instead, it’s been replaced with blindly trusting the experts.

Rights and freedoms in Canada
1 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

That being said, the Feds probably aren’t interested in having to justify these restrictions in court, so they came up with another option. Their lawyers filed a motion to strike the case for “mootness”. Plainly put, the argument is that since the restrictions have been lifted (as in, the orders expired), there’s nothing for a Judge to look at.

This is disingenuous for a few reasons. First, even if there are no active restrictions, it doesn’t erase any harm or violation of Constitutional rights. This comes across as a cop-out to avoid taking any responsibilities.

Second, various officials have made it clear they “won’t hesitate to bring back” various restrictions and martial law measures. So, while these may be “suspended” for the time being, it doesn’t mean that they won’t come back in some form.

We’ll have to see what comes of this, but it would be unfortunate to allow this kind of stunt to circumvent people getting their day in court.

(1) https://www.fct-cf.gc.ca/
(2) https://www.fct-cf.gc.ca/en/court-files-and-decisions/court-files#cont
(3) T-1991-21 Doc 51 MOTION RECORD in response to Motion Doc. No. 44
(4) https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-12.html

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