Your Charter Rights and COVID Immunity Passports
Section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees all Canadian citizens certain mobility rights, including the right enter and leave Canada. Section 15 of the Charter also provides citizens with equality rights including the right to be considered equal before and under the law. These rights could be affected for some individuals should an immunity passport system be adopted.
Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has indicated that those who are not vaccinated may be subject to certain restrictions. In other words, without the vaccine individuals will not be permitted in certain settings unless other safety precautions have been put in place. Section 1 of the Charter allows for the infringement of individual rights only where reasonable and necessary to protect the rights of a greater number of individuals.
Can Business refuse You without a vaccine?
In addition to government restrictions, those who do not have an immunity passport may also face restrictions from private businesses. The Charter applies only to government agencies, meaning private businesses may implement restrictions as they see fit. This could leave those without an immunity passport barred from travelling by air, attaining certain private services, and attending events such as concerts, festivals or even the movies.
As we continue to move towards a more global workforce, competing interests with personal liberties will likely increase. As a result, governments will attempt to balance the rights of individuals and do what is best for the highest number of people.
More information on social distancing regulations in Ontario can be found here and its powers used for Quarantine here.