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Update on Legal Challenges and the Path Forward


One of Stand 4 Freedom NB’s four pillars is pursuing legal challenges to vaccine mandates. Over the last several months since S4FNB was started in August 2021, hundreds of concerned citizens have donated amounts large and small to our legal fund that enabled us to retain lawyers to pursue three separate legal challenges.


We are so grateful to all who donated and supported these challenges and allowed us to push back on the Government of New Brunswick’s unethical and (we believe) illegal vaccine mandates.

Despite our efforts and those of our legal counsel, our challenges have thus far proved unsuccessful. This is part of an unfortunate and frankly disturbing trend of legal decisions across Canada that are by and large finding in favour of governments’ and employers’ ability to impose mandates on citizens and workers.


In the remainder of this blog post, we will summarize the three legal challenges and their outcomes. More detailed information on each of the challenges is available HERE.


Challenge #1:

  • The challenge: A court application filed November 5, 2021 by four NB public servants challenging GNB’s vaccination mandate for all employees in Parts I – IV of the public service.

  • What we were seeking: A court declaration that the mandate violated the applicants’ Charter rights and was therefore unconstitutional and of no force or effect.

  • The outcome: In a decision dated February 10, 2022 (available here), Justice Christie granted GNB’s motion to dismiss our application on jurisdiction grounds. In effect, the Judge found that the four applicants were barred from bringing the constitutional challenge to the courts and instead had to proceed individually through their specific labour relations process (whether unionized or not). We believe the Judge erred by not giving more weight to the distinction that only a court has jurisdiction to strike down an unconstitutional law (which would have benefitted ALL public servants) – labour arbitrators do not.

Challenge #2:

  • The challenge: A court application filed December 19, 2021 by a nursing home worker and a childcare worker challenging GNB’s vaccination mandate for all workers in those sectors.

  • What we were seeking: A court declaration that the mandate violated the applicants’ Charter rights and was therefore unconstitutional and of no force or effect.

  • The outcome: This application was set to be heard in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Burton, NB on August 4, 2022. As a result of the decision in Challenge #1, we were in the process of amending this Application to include only non-unionized childcare workers when GNB repealed the Covid-19 Preventative Measures Regulation that we were challenging. Given that the mandate has been repealed and workers in those sectors are now able to once again work without being jabbed, it was decided to dedicate the remaining resources in our legal fund to Challenge #3.


Challenge #3:

  • The challenge: An adjudication under the Public Service Labour Relations Act with respect to a grievance by a 25-year non-union public servant who was terminated for cause for not getting jabbed or tested under the GNB mandate in force at the time.

  • What we were seeking: An adjudicator’s ruling that GNB as employer was not entitled to terminate for cause because the mandate constituted a new fundamental term of the employment relationship and because there were less drastic options the employer could have implemented short of termination for those employees who weren’t willing to get jabbed or submit to regular testing.

  • The outcome: In a decision dated May 10, the adjudicator upheld the termination for cause and dismissed the employee’s grievance. The adjudicator determined that the employee’s unwillingness to submit to the regular testing was unreasonable in the circumstances and constituted willful disobedience of a reasonable employer policy. Obviously, we were very disappointed with this decision and the highly questionable rationale on which it was based.


The Path Forward


While we would love to continue fighting these cases and to pursue other legal challenges, we are hitting the pause button on this pillar of our organization. We have exhausted our legal fund and in fact were fortunate that our retained legal counsel provided their services either at reduced rates or on a pro bono basis in order to take these challenges as far as we did.


Understandably, the appetite to fund initiatives such as this has been greatly reduced following the Federal Government’s shocking antics of freezing bank accounts and credit cards of citizens who contribute to causes that Trudeau & Co. don’t like. Plus, despite the uneasy sense that provincial mandates are simply in pause mode rather than done for good, the appetite to continue to fight and challenge provincial mandates that may or may not return is understandably less than when the mandates were first coming into force back in late summer and fall of last year.


Meanwhile, Stand 4 Freedom NB and its numerous contributors will continue to expose the emerging data and lies and bring into the light the truth and ever-evolving science as we feel this will provide the most value for time and energy spent at this time.


So again, we thank all those who supported these challenges and are confident that despite their disappointing outcomes, these efforts combined those of countless others across the country will end up tilting the scale of public – if not legal – opinion back in favour of recognizing the right to uncoerced consent to medical treatment in this country.

 

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