OTTAWA – The federal Liberal government is “suspending” covid vaccine mandates for domestic and outbound international travellers but constitutional lawyers say they will continue their litigation against the mandates.
Constitutional lawyers from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms launched legal action against the federal government earlier this year and the case will be heard Sept. 19 – 23 at the Federal Court of Canada.
The suspension of vaccine mandates is long overdue, said a spokesperson from the JCCF on Tuesday, adding that millions of Canadians were discriminated against on the basis of their personal medical decisions and were barred from travel by air, train or ship.
“The rescission of these discriminatory and unjustifiable mandates need to be permanent. We must continue to ensure that a court decision is obtained to prevent mobility rights from being restricted in future."
In October 2021, the federal government mandated that anyone travelling by air, train, or ship, must have had the required number of COVID-19 vaccines in order to travel. This travel ban prevented approximately six million vaccine-free Canadians (15 per cent of Canada’s population) from travelling within Canada and also prevented them from flying out of Canada, said constitutional lawyers Allison Pejovic, Eva Chipiuk, and Keith Wilson.
Travel industry groups pressured the government to lift the travel bans. They blamed the federal Liberal government's covid mandates for slowdowns at airport customs, which have caused long waits for passengers, contributed to flight delays, and caused flight cancellations.