Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which prevented travelers from leaving the country or using planes if they were not fully vaccinated, was not based on any specific scientific evidence, according to court filings.
Court documents unsealed in July show that Transport Canada was trying to justify the vaccine mandate in internal communications just days before it took effect, according COMMON SENSE. The documents also reportedly revealed that no one in Transport Canada’s COVID recovery unit had formal training in epidemiology or public health.
Recently released court documents reveal the Trudeau government’s travel vaccine mandate was driven by politics, not science. Days before the start, senior officials were scrambling to find a rationale. My last for @bariweiss and it’s big. https://t.co/RPE33obIlV
— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) August 2, 2022
The head of the COVID recovery team, Jennifer Little, graduated with a BA in Literature from the University of Toronto. He testified that there were 20 members on the team that created the mandate, and only one of them had a background working in public health in any capacity, according to Common Sense.
In October 2021, Public Health Canada and Transport Canada officials exchanged emails about the rationale for ordering the vaccine. Aaron McCrorie, deputy deputy minister of safety and security in Canada, asked Dawn Lumley-Myllari, a public health official, for guidance on the rationale for the vaccine mandate, according to Common Sense.
“To the extent that there are updated data or there is clearer evidence of the safety benefit of vaccination for users or other stakeholders of the transportation system, it would be helpful to help Transport Canada support its measures,” McCrorie reportedly asked .
Two days before Oct. 30, when the order went into effect, Lumley-Myllari responded with a list of the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine, without specifying why a public transportation order was needed, according to Common Sense. . (RELATED: Justin Trudeau faces backlash after using authoritarian tactics against protesting truckers)
Little reportedly declined to share who had directed Transport Canada to implement a vaccine mandate from higher levels of the Government of Canada, citing “cabinet confidence.” That term suggests someone from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, possibly even Trudeau himself, was involved in the decision-making process, the paper continued.
Shaun Rickard and Karl Harrison, the two plaintiffs in the ongoing case, sued Transport Canada last year. When Canada lifted its mandate in June 2022, the government reportedly tried to dismiss the case. The plaintiffs’ attorney responded by filing an additional motion for damages so the court documents could be unsealed for transparency purposes, Common Sense noted. Rickard and Harrison were reportedly not interested in financial gain.
“The Trudeau government has claimed to be following the Science on COVID, but that science is strangely different than it is anywhere else,” Queen’s University law professor Bruce Pardee told Common Sense.