According to a recent decision made by the Canadian Armed Forces Grievance Board (CAFGB), the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has been found to be in violation of the Charter rights of a member who was discharged for refusing to get vaccinated. The CAFGB is responsible for reviewing official grievances raised by CAF members. According to the ruling, the CAF’s vaccination policy encroached on the member’s right to liberty and security of the person under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The peak of the pandemic
According to the watchdog, the policy put in place by General Wayne Eyre during the peak of the pandemic was considered to be arbitrary, excessively broad, and disproportionate. The committee found that the policy violated the rights protected under Section 7 of the Charter and that the limitations imposed on these rights were not in line with the fundamental principles of justice. Additionally, the committee deemed certain elements of the policy to be unjustified and excessively broad and its implementation to be disproportionate.
According to TNCNews, it then concluded that the CAF had not shown that mandatory vaccination was necessary to protect public health or operational effectiveness, given the high vaccination rate within the CAF.
“The Committee concluded that the CAF had not met its obligation to ensure minimal impairment in the implementation of its vaccination policy. The Committee concluded that the limitations were not justified under Section 1 of the Charter,” wrote the CAFGB.
According to the watchdog, the process of releasing the member from their service was “unreasonable due to serious breaches of procedural fairness.”
As exclusively reported by True North in Nov. 2021, unvaccinated CAF members were subject to an “unsuitable for further service” release, which would leave a permanent stain on the members’ service record.
Stay tuned for more news about the issue.