Saskatoon PPC candidate among those seeking injunction against Sask. proof-of-vaccination policy
Saskatchewan’s proof of vaccination policy is facing a legal challenge.
An application has been filed at Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatoon against four Crown corporations and the province’s attorney general.
It seeks an injunction that the provincial government, including Crowns and other departments, may not require proof of vaccination as a condition to enter their premises, obtain services or employment.
The applicants include Mark Friesen, who ran as a candidate for the People's Party of Canada (PPC) in the Sept. 20 federal election, and two entities named Concerned Citizens (Estevan) and Unified Grassroots.
The application also requests that any medical testing requirements extend to everyone regardless of their vaccination status, that they do not frustrate or coerce people into submitting to vaccination as an alternative, be as least intrusive as possible and be provided at the expense of those requiring the test.
It requests any entities not normally subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms be subject to the same limitations.
"We filed this injunction because of the horrific consequences to so many peoples jobs and livelihoods," Friesen said in an email to CTV News.
"Of course we also believe that the vax pass/vax mandates are unconstitutional and creating a 'show me your papers' society."
"We offer a reasonable redress. Test everyone with rapid antigen test. At employers expense. Not only would that meet the government obligation to not discriminate, it would be responsible use of taxpayer money."
Friesen said the challenge is unrelated to the PPC as he is not a candidate anymore and that he is simply a concerned citizen.
Premier Scott Moe announced on Sept. 17 that a proof-of-vaccination policy would come into effect on Oct. 1.
A proof of vaccination or a negative test will be required at establishments including restaurants, casinos, movie theatres and indoor facilities hosting ticketed sporting events. The same requirements will be put in place for all provincial and Crown employees.
The Ministry of Justice says it believes the measures are legal.
"The Government of Saskatchewan is confident the measures it has put in place to address the pandemic are aligned with federal and provincial laws and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We have nothing further to provide on this matter at this time," a spokesperson told CTV News in an email.
A SaskEnergy spokesperson said in an email that SaskEnergy has not been served with any legal papers and would not be commenting publicly as the issue, if served, is before the courts.
The injunction application says the policy violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms - including the freedom of thought, belief, and opinion that proof of vaccination measures are “intended to frustrate and coerce the individual to abandon their thoughts, beliefs, and opinion, and to encourage submission to government opinion.”
It also alleges the policy violates the rights to freedom of expression and peaceable assembly, and the rights to life, liberty and security of the person and privacy.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
The respondents are SaskTel, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and the Attorney General for Saskatchewan.
They can address the application at a hearing set for late October.