BC judge rules vaccine mandates justifiable for healthcare employees
BC Supreme Court Justice Simon Coval ruled that extended vaccine mandates for healthcare workers were justified, adding that the mandates did obstruct certain freedoms, but those freedoms were secondary to “essential public health objectives.” 

Alexa Posa

May 15, 2024

A BC judge ruled vaccine mandates for healthcare workers are justifiable despite employees claiming their freedoms were undermined. 

BC judge rules vaccine mandates justifiable for healthcare employees

On May 10th, BC Supreme Court Justice Simon Coval ruled the extended vaccine mandates for healthcare workers were justified, siding with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The workers who were terminated for remaining unvaccinated submitted a claim stating the virus was no longer “an immediate and significant risk” to the province’s public health; however, Coval disagreed

“Transmission of the virus continued to pose an immediate and significant risk to public health throughout the province, justifying the ongoing use of the emergency powers,” Coval said. 

He added that evidence supports the positive outcome of the vaccine, including reduced transmission rates and hospitalization, as well as ensuring the safety of vulnerable individuals. 

Some petitioners argued the vaccine mandate hindered their constitutional rights and freedoms while also going against their religious liberties.

Coval admitted this, ruling that the mandates did obstruct certain freedoms, but those freedoms were secondary to “essential public health objectives.” 

The objectives include “protecting vulnerable patients, residents and clients from serious illness and death, and safeguarding the functioning of the province’s healthcare system,” stated Coval.

He swiftly dismissed the idea of vaccine mandates infringing upon personal beliefs, adding that “the orders did not compel them to accept unwanted medical treatment, and so did not interfere with their bodily integrity or medical self-determination.”

The Charter of Rights “protects neither the right to work in any specific employment or particular profession, nor the right to avoid the stress and hardship of being denied employment in a profession due to non-compliance with its governing rules and regulations,” he concluded. 

Judge rules vaccine mandate “unlawful” for Queensland emergency service workers 

In a recent development and contrary to BC, Australia’s Queensland Supreme Court ruled the COVID vaccine mandates implemented for police and ambulance workers violated their Human Rights Act.

Justice Glenn Martin found that section 58 of the Human Rights Act was breached, ruling the vaccine mandates as “unlawful.”  

The judge also claimed that the former Director-General of the Department of Health had no authority to impose the mandate under the employment agreement for the workers.

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