In a recent court ruling, a Calgary judge has found that pandemic lockdown orders were outside of the Alberta Public Health Act because they were ultimately decided upon by politicians and not scientists.
The 90-page decision submitted on Monday is a part of a long and complicated lawsuit concerning whether pandemic mandates violated the province’s Bill of Rights or federal Charter guarantees.
“Although, Dr. Hinshaw was maligned during the pandemic and afterwards as the symbol of the restrictions, she was not in fact the final decision-maker,” wrote Justice Barbara Romaine.
Romaine’s ruling puts the fate of several cases in which people received charges related to public health violations up in the air.
Although Hinshaw might not have been the final decision maker throughout the pandemic, she championed her unit’s pandemic restrictions throughout the trial.
Last year Hinshaw claimed the mandates and lockdowns were needed to protect the integrity of the province’s health care system.
Responding to these claims, lawyers representing plaintiffs who argued that the restrictions violated individual rights said that the data didn’t add up when taking into account the bigger picture.
“The tensions between individual liberty and the greater good … is the heart of this case,” said lawyer Leighton Grey in April 2022.
Grey accused Hinshaw of being granted “extraordinary” powers over people’s lives despite serving in an appointed role.
Hinshaw has been at the centre of numerous legal challenges against overreaching pandemic restrictions.
As exclusively reported by The Counter Signal, Alberta Health Services attempted to secretly rehire Hinshaw in the middle of the last provincial election.
Hinshaw was replaced in her role as the chief medical officer of health by Premier Danielle Smith last year.