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Justice

TDF takes Red Deer Catholic Regional school board to court over removal of democratically elected trustee

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News release from The Democracy Fund

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A former trustee was ousted from the school board for memes that some found offensive.


The Democracy Fund (TDF) is taking the Board of Trustees of the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools to court over its expulsion of former trustee Monique LaGrange, who was democratically elected to the board in 2021. LeGrange was removed from the board in November 2023 after she allegedly failed to comply with sanctions imposed on her by the board earlier in the year for posting a meme to her Facebook account that some people found offensive.

The impugned meme depicted two side-by-side photographs, one of children holding swastika flags and the other of children holding pride progress flags. The meme, which drew both support and disapprobation from the community, included a caption stating, “brainwashing is brainwashing.”

The board asked LaGrange to apologize for the meme, but she refused to do so. In speaking to the Western Standard, LaGrange stated, “I was elected to stand up and protect our children, and that is what I am doing.”

The board ultimately ordered LaGrange to undergo sensitivity training at her own expense for allegedly breaching their code of conduct by posting the meme. The board also barred LaGrange from making public statements about the Holocaust and sexual minorities and prohibited her from representing the board in any official capacity and from speaking with news outlets.

Following the board’s decision to censure LaGrange, an interview of LaGrange with Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, that was filmed prior to the board decision, was released. LaGrange also posted another meme, this one depicting a wolf wearing colourful makeup, with the caption, “I just want to read some books to your chickens.” As a result of these and other alleged breaches of the sanctions, the board voted to expel LaGrange as a trustee.

TDF is partnering with well-known lawyer James Kitchen to challenge the board’s decisions. On December 18, 2023, Kitchen issued two applications for judicial review in the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta. The applications argue that the board’s decisions to censure and expel LaGrange lacked fairness and contained a number of legal errors, including misinterpretation of the board’s policies. They further argue that the sanctions were invalid, inappropriate or disproportionate.

About The Democracy Fund:

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.

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COVID-19

ArriveCAN charges dropped, shielding the controversial program from constitutional scrutiny

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News release from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms 

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms announces that City of Mississauga prosecutors have withdrawn five charges against four Canadians who refused to comply with ArriveCAN requirements at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The withdrawn charges include those against Elim Sly-Hooten of British Columbia. After arriving in Toronto from the Netherlands, Mr. Sly-Hooten felt that his personal medical information should remain private and chose not to disclose his vaccination status via ArriveCAN. In response, Peel Regional Police and Public Health Agency of Canada personnel detained him. Under pressure and without counsel, Mr. Sly-Hooten broke down and revealed his vaccination status. He received a $5,000 ticket for violating the Quarantine Act and was ordered to quarantine in his home for 14 days.

With help from the Justice Centre, Mr. Sly-Hooten launched a constitutional challenge against ArriveCAN, citing his right to liberty, his right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure, his right to be free from arbitrary arrest and detention, and his right to counsel after arrest and detention – all protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Prosecutors also withdrew tickets against Mark Spence, Aaron Grubb, and Evan Kraayenbrink. Like Mr. Sly-Hooten, each were charged for choosing not to provide information via ArriveCAN and were ordered to quarantine for 14 days. Prosecutors have withdrawn the charges because they believe it is not in the public interest to expend further resources on a trial. This outcome follows a similar pattern of ArriveCAN-related charges being dropped before their trials in what appears to be an attempt to shield the controversial program from constitutional scrutiny. In other words, charges are being dropped before the merits of constitutional challenges to ArriveCAN can be heard by the courts.

Beside the constitutional question, ArriveCAN has been dogged by bad publicity since its implementation. Canada Border Services Agency launched ArriveCAN in April 2020 in response to the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global pandemic. Since then, ArriveCAN has cost Canadians an estimated $59.5 million (not counting in-house costs), according to the Auditor General of Canada in her February 12, 2024 performance audit report.

ArriveCAN was mandatory for all air, land, and marine travellers between November 2021 and October 2022. During that time, the program erroneously ordered 10,000 Canadians to quarantine in a significant breach of the Privacy Act, according to a 2023 report from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The program violated many of the rights and freedoms protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Lawyer Chris Fleury stated, “This outcome is bittersweet for each of our clients. It is positive for each of them personally. On the other hand, they were deeply interested in seeking a determination of the constitutionality of the irrational and unscientific decision forcing unvaccinated Canadians to quarantine. The federal government has again escaped accountability for Covid policy decisions that breached Canadians’ Charter rights.”

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COVID-19

Ontario judge rules in favor of woman who refused COVID nasal swab test

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

‘I do decide that the nasal swab test, which the screening officer in this case required or demanded Ms. Fernando submit to, was an unlawful requirement or demand,’ wrote Ontario Court Justice Paul Monahan in his June 26 ruling.

An Ontario court has ruled in favor of a woman who was charged and convicted for refusing to submit to a COVID nasal swab test upon returning home to Canada in 2022.

In a June 26 ruling, Ontario Court Justice Paul Monahan decided in favor of Canadian woman Meththa Fernando, who was charged in 2022 for refusing a COVID nasal swab test when returning to Canada from abroad and subsequently found guilty. Monahan concluded that in Fernando’s case, requiring her to submit to such an invasive test was unlawful and ordered her conviction be overturned.

“I do decide that the nasal swab test, which the screening officer in this case required or demanded Ms. Fernando submit to, was an unlawful requirement or demand,” wrote Monahan in his ruling.   

“Ms. Fernando’s refusal to comply with the requirement or demand was lawful on her part,” he continued. “Because the requirement or demand made of her by the screening officer was not lawful, Ms. Fernando should not have been found guilty by the Justice of the Peace.”  

Fernando began her legal journey in 2022 when she refused a nasal swab at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario. Upon her return home to nearby Mississauga, a screening officer from the Canadian Public Health Agency randomly selected her to undergo the nasal test.  

However, Fernando, who told the officer she was already vaccinated against COVID, refused the test. She was charged and later convicted of failing to comply with an order under Section 58 of the Quarantine Act and fined a total of $6,255. 

Canada’s Quarantine Act was used by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to enact severe draconian COVID travel rules on all returning travelers to the country. 

Fernando chose to take her case to an appeal court following conviction, arguing that the Quarantine Act did not “authorize a screening officer to use a screening test which involved the entry into the traveller’s body of an instrument or other foreign body.”   

As LifeSiteNews previously reported there have been several instances of injuries after receiving the swabs, including leaking brain fluid due to the test puncturing the brain tissue.   

“The prosecution raised the point that perhaps the insertion into the nasal cavity did not involve the entry into the body,” Monahan stated. “I disagree. The insertion of a nasal swab into the nasal cavity is most definitely an insertion into the body.”  

“I am reversing the Justice of the Peace’s decision and entering a finding of not guilty,” he concluded. “Those are my reasons.”  

Besides potential brain tissue damage, COVID-19 nasal tests have been flagged for seriously questionable accuracy rates. One study authored by British and American scientists last year found that PCR nasal swab testing has only around 63% sensitivity. 

Severalotherstudies, as well as federalguidelines, have identified major accuracy issues with PCR tests and other means of testing for coronavirus. The most common PCR testing protocol for COVID-19 also has come under fire in December, when a coalition of scientists called for the retraction of the original article detailing the method, due to a lack of a properly peer-reviewed report. 

Pro-freedom lawyer Daniel Freiheit celebrated the decision, telling LifeSiteNews, “This ruling is a stark reminder that many laws may have been broken during COVID. I think this was caused by a collective fear of the unknown and a kind of mass panic.” 

“In times like that, it’s utmost to rely on first principles: basic freedoms that I had always been taught would act as checks and balances: freedom to speak, freedom to associate, freedom to deny novel medical treatment, right to retain counsel,” he continued.   

He explained that the ruling will give Canadians a sense of vindication since many knew the tests were invasive and unjust but complied out of fear.  

“Many people knew it was wrong and unlawful at the time but had no choice except to comply,” he said.  

“It was either that or face detainment at the border, harassment, fines, threats of more fines, threats of quarantine, etc,” Freiheit explained. “Submitting to this unlawful treatment was the easiest way out, especially for people coming into the country with medical conditions, tired children or frustrated travel partners.”  

This ruling is not the first time actions taken by the Trudeau government during COVID were found to be unlawful.

In January, the Trudeau government’s use of the Emergencies Act to end the Freedom Convoy protest against COVID mandates was ruled to have violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley.  

According to the January ruling, the EA is meant to be reserved as a last resort if all other means fail. In Mosley’s judgement, this threshold was not met and thus, the Trudeau government violated the rights of Canadians.    

Shortly after the ruling, Trudeau announced that the government was appealing to the Federal Court of Appeal, a court where he has appointed 10 of the 15 judges. 

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