(LifeSiteNews) – The Canadian group called Free to Fly, which is made up of pilots and airline workers who lost their jobs for not complying with COVID vaccine mandates, has launched a class action lawsuit against the federal government over its vaccine mandate for aviation, seeking full compensation.
“Free to Fly Canada, through retained counsel Umar Sheikh of Sheikh Law, has filed a Class Action lawsuit against the Canadian government on behalf of aviation employees harmed as a result of vaccination mandates,” the group announced in a press release Wednesday.
“We have developed a comprehensive and methodical approach to holding the government responsible and bringing justice to thousands of impacted workers.”
The group says that plaintiffs, Greg Hill, Brent Warren, and Tanya Lewis are “representative of a proposed class of those subjected to tortuous harm” caused by the federal government’s Transport Canada’s Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 43.
In October 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced unprecedented COVID-19 jab mandates for all federal workers and those in the transportation sector and said the unjabbed will no longer be able to travel by air, boat, or train, both domestically and internationally.
This policy resulted in thousands losing their jobs or being placed on leave for non-compliance.
Trudeau “suspended” the COVID travel vaccine mandates on June 20, 2022. Last October, the Canadian federal government ended all remaining COVID mandates in Canada regarding travel, including masking on planes and trains, COVID testing, and allowing vaccine-free Canadians to no longer be subject to mandatory quarantine.
According to Free to Fly, Trudeau’s order “induced employers to violate contractual agreements for thousands of Canadian employees, violated rights guaranteed by the Charter, and interfered with free and fair collective bargaining.”
“This is the first time a case of this type has been brought in Canadian Courts and we are proud to help chart this course,” the group said.
According to the group, its class action is “open to unvaccinated employees adversely affected by Transport Canada’s Interim Order, No. 43.”
“This could be reflected through termination of employment, coerced early retirement, or suspension.”
“These suspensions were often called a leave of absence by employers, but given their involuntary nature were not thus, by definition. We have been failed by our government, unions, and employers, and this proceeding is a means to fight back,” the group asserted.
Free to Fly has asked that its class action be heard in a federal court in Vancouver, British Columbia. Sheikh is based in Victoria, British Columbia.
In addition to “general damages plus damages equal to the cost of administering” along with “special damages,” the group also wants a declaration that “Ministerial Order 43 violates the Plaintiffs’ and the class members’ rights to life, liberty and security of the person and is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice,” and violates the Charter.
Free to Fly had last year announced that it retained a prominent lawyer to move into a “new phase” in seeking justice for aviation workers wronged due to COVID mandates.
Hill, a plaintiff in the class action who works for a major Canadian airline as a pilot and who has 13,000 flying hours under his belt, helped start Free to Fly.
Hill was placed on unpaid leave for a time for refusing to go along with COVID mandates.
He told LifeSiteNews last year that the lawsuit was about “getting us back to the place where we don’t descend into authoritarian tyranny, which seems to be the current trend.”
Hill said the case is “not simply a single filing class action” lawsuit but is “a multi-faceted approach.”
He that it’s “time to hold these people to account.”
Hill also told LifeSiteNews that Free to Fly represents over 3,000 supporters from 20 different companies involved in the aviation sector in Canada.
Free to Fly is not the only group of Canadian aviation workers taking legal action.
A group of more than 176 active and non-active WestJet employees suing the airline and Canadian federal government over forced COVID jab mandates last fall successfully filed its Statement of Claim against the airline and the government in a federal court.