(LifeSiteNews) — Hundreds of members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) last week signed onto a $500 million class action lawsuit against military leaders over the imposition of “unlawful” COVID jab mandates. According to the legal challenge, the mandates “caused the Plaintiffs harm and constitute[d] a breach of the public trust.”
A victory in the case could set an important precedent for all Canadians who have been pressured to get the experimental shots against their will.
In the 137-page statement of claim filed with the Federal Court on June 21 and viewed by LifeSiteNews, 329 individuals who have served in the CAF argued that Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre “issued an unlawful order on October 25, 2021, in violation of established law and constitutional rights” by requiring members of the armed forces to get the experimental COVID-19 shot or face removal from the service.
On October 8, 2021, the CAF handed down a military-wide COVID jab mandate requiring all service members to become “fully vaccinated” against the coronavirus or be discharged from service. Hundreds of unvaccinated service members were subsequently discharged. The mandate was finally partially rolled back last year, though troops supporting operational readiness are still required to get the injections. Last year, military leadership said they would still discharge soldiers who chose to remain unvaccinated.
In an interview with the Canadian Press in October 2022, General Eyre suggested that the refusal by service members to get vaccinated “raises questions about your suitability to serve in uniform.”
“It’s dangerous in the military to have legal orders disobeyed,” he said. “It’s a very slippery slope.”
However, the June 21 statement of claim — which also names Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Lieutenant-General Frances Allen and Minister of National Defence Anita Anand, among others, as defendants — contends that the Canadian military “shirked its own purpose and rushed an untested product onto its members.”
The plaintiffs claim that top members of the military “mislabeled this experimental gene therapy a “vaccine,” knowingly made false statements of safety and efficacy, and facilitated its mandate with no option to refuse except for mandatory permanent removal from service.”
The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages of roughly $1,000,000 per plaintiff and well over $1,000,000 more in other damages, coming to around $500,000,000 total.
“This is not about COVID-19,” Catherine Christensen, an attorney with Valour Law who filed the class action suit on behalf of the plaintiffs, said in an email statement to LifeSiteNews. “This is about a corrupt Chain of Command that thinks they are untouchable and above the law.”
“The Canada I want to live in has [the] Rule of Law and no person is above being answerable to the Court for malicious and unlawful act,” she said.
Reporting on the lawsuit, The Epoch Times noted that the filing accuses the CAF of having “abused its power by ignoring express legislative limits on its actions” and “allowing the physical and/or psychological torture of unvaccinated members under the command of CAF-commissioned officers.” The challenge also claims that the CAF overstepped its bounds by “ignoring established law on the right to privacy and the right to choose medical treatment and ignoring established law on informed consent and regarding religious and spiritual belief.”
Commanding officers reportedly resorted to coercion when military members bucked the mandate, including by allegedly “forcing members to spend unnecessary extended periods of time outside in extreme winter conditions with no shelter or protection as well as forcibly confining members to small, cramped spaces with no respite for meals or personal hygiene needs,” the lawsuit alleges.
Those who resisted the mandate were allegedly punished with the loss of income, benefits, outside employment opportunities, and more.
In comments to LifeSite, Christensen said she is “so very proud of all of these Plaintiffs for holding the line and standing up for Canada.”
“These brave men and women are leading the way to standing up for our Constitution and the Rule of Law which have been badly battered in the past three years,” she said.
Asked whether the legal action vindicates the concerns of citizens who have long been skeptical of the COVID jabs and resistant to the mandates, Christensen said, “Absolutely.”
“A win for the military and veterans sets the precedent for others, as has happened in the U.S.,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Department of National Defence declined to provide a statement in response to a request from The Epoch Times, saying that the department does “not comment on potential legal actions of this nature.”