(LifeSiteNews) — The Supreme Court of Canada denied an appeal by three churches in British Columbia that challenged a previous decision on COVID-19 restrictions for religious services.
The legal challenge, originally filed in 2021, sought to have the province’s complete ban on in-person worship services refuted based on protected Charter rights. Though it had previously been dismissed by provincial courts, the legal group representing the churches announced today that it had also been rejected by the nation’s highest court.
“The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms [JCCF] is disappointed that the Supreme Court of Canada has decided not to hear the case of three British Columbia churches who have challenged the total prohibition of in-person worship services that was imposed by the British Columbia government from November 2020 through to May 2021,” the group said in a press release, further noting that “the government closed all houses of worship while allowing restaurants and gyms to remain open.”
Marty Moore, a lawyer with the conservative organization, pointed out that the churches “still face prosecution for holding safe in-person worship services in 2020 and 2021” and that they “will continue to assert their other legal and constitutional rights in defense against those charges.”
Specifically, Moore explained, they would argue “that the Provincial Health Officer [Dr. Bonnie Henry] abused her discretion in selectively permitting and prohibiting in-person gatherings based on factors other than health and safety.” The churches are being held to scrutiny despite “adhering to all Covid regulations in force in BC at that time.”
According to the press release, the three churches filed a Notice of Appeal with the province in March 2021 after their case challenging the closures was initially dismissed. The appeal was dismissed again in December 2022. The following February, “the churches sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on the basis that there are issues raised by the Court of Appeal decision that are of national importance.”
Specifically, the appeal requested clarification as to “whether the constitutionality of orders that infringe the Charter rights of all citizens ought to be treated by the court as administrative decisions rather than a law of general application;” if “the constitutionality of administrative decisions” is challenged, whether a given case can determine if such decisions are “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society;” should Canadians defending their Charter rights “bear the burden of proving the unreasonableness and lack of justification” of unconstitutional rules and “whether a province can prevent the judicial review of the constitutionality of orders applicable to everyone in the province solely because those individuals can apply to the government decision maker for reconsideration.”
In 2022, the JCCF criticized Canada’s COVID-19 policies, arguing through a detailed report that they have been “inconsistent, ineffective and damaging.” The group also lamented a court decision from the same year that dropped a case challenging the country’s travel policies. Two years earlier, at the height of the pandemic, JCCF released a report outlining the British Columbia government’s violations of Charter rights through COVID mandates.
But Canada isn’t the only country facing backlash for intense restrictions during the pandemic. In Scotland, the restrictions were found to be utterly ineffective by a recently released inquiry report.
The United States has seen many lawsuits surrounding requirements to take the experimental “vaccines.” Specifically, members of the military are speaking out after being denied religious exemptions and the unjust pressure put on them to take the shots. In addition to many adverse side effects that remain unpublicized by mainstream media, such as myocarditis and other cardiovascular injuries, data has shown that most deaths directly caused by the virus occurred after the vaccines were released.