In the constitutional challenge against the government over pandemic-related restrictions, a judge has ruled that Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer Deena Hinshaw must release her conversations with government officials.
“The public interest in disclosing Dr. Hinshaw’s answers to the questions posed by the court outweighs the public interest in keeping the evidence confidential,” Justice Barbara Romaine stated.
Hinshaw and her lawyers cited ‘cabinet confidentiality’ to avoid revealing the closed-door discussions she had with politicians regarding the restrictive mandates put in place by the province.
The judge continued, “I find that, whether or not the evidence falls within the scope of public interest immunity, it is admissible as both relevant and necessary to fairly dispose of this case and to assist the Court in determining the facts upon which the decision in the case will depend.”
Furthermore, the judge said that hiding behind confidentiality would be “to use this form of privilege to shield the Alberta government from allegations of political interference with respect to decisions made under the Public Health Act.”
Hinshaw’s trial is part of an over-one-year-old case launched by Albertans against the government over pandemic-related restrictions they want to have ruled unconstitutional. Until recently, Hinshaw managed to dodge her day in court, claiming to be too busy handling the pandemic to possibly make an appearance, despite going on vacation last year the same week as when she was scheduled to appear.
Lawyers Leighton Grey, on behalf of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, and Jeff Rath are representing the plaintiffs.
Hinshaw has previously admitted in court that it was necessary to shut down businesses and places of worship for a virus that wasn’t a threat to 96 per cent of the population for the greater good.
As Sheila Gunn Reid from Rebel News reported from the courtroom, Hinshaw ultimately fell back on hospital capacity as the reason for the restrictions on everyone:
“GREY: your orders impacted the liberties of 96 per cent of Albertans who were at no risk of serious health outcomes or death.”
“HINSHAW: if the hospitals are overwhelmed, healthy people could be impacted by a knock-on effect if they are not able to access the healthcare system.”
Hinshaw’s defence is appealing the judge’s decision, hoping they never have to reveal what was said between Hinshaw and government leaders.