Ottawa desire for ‘strong’ travel vaccine mandate waives compassionate exemption: Court documents

The Canadian government made a conscious and thoughtful decision to impose strict travel vaccination requirements that do not allow compassionate exemptions, court documents reveal.

Documents recently obtained by The Epoch Times related to four lawsuits challenging the mandate shed light on the thinking that led to such policies calling for a “strong” and “world-leading” mandate. increase.

Jennifer Little, Director of Transport Canada’s COVID Recovery Team, was responsible for drafting the delegation policy, including making recommendations for decision makers regarding delegation waivers.

Little filed an affidavit in April and was cross-examined in early June as a government witness defending his travel obligations.

During cross-examination, she was asked if it was her idea not to have a compassionate exemption.

“In the process of formulating the policy … we looked at many situations.

There is little mention that she is the lead author of a brief addressed to Transport Minister Omar Al-Ghabra on 2 October titled “Implementing Vaccine Mandates for the Transport Sector”.

It describes the policy as “one of the strongest vaccination mandates for travelers in the world.”

A Transport Canada manager said the overview includes all considerations for the various exemptions.

“And did you specifically recommend that there be no waivers for travelers for compassionate reasons?” Sam Presvelos, an attorney under pressure.

“So that was one of our considerations, what the decision makers would decide whether to include it as one of the few exemptions,” she said.

“We had a direction to allow very small exemptions in policy decisions that…we were working on…during the fall.”

Little did I say that the fewer exemptions for unvaccinated people, the safer and more secure the transport system.

Many people have reached out to The Epoch Times about their families falling apart due to obligations or missing important moments such as weddings and funerals.

Carrier Liability

Carriers were responsible for issuing exemptions. Exceptions were granted for medical or religious reasons to keep them from being held liable under human rights law, Little said.

Little’s affidavit lists the waivers granted by the airline between October 30, 2021 and April 19, 2022.

  • 371 exemptions to get medical care with an approval rate of 83%
  • 409 waivers of medical contraindications with 55% approval rate
  • 900 religiously motivated exemptions, 38% approval rate

There is also a national interest waiver program that allows unvaccinated persons to travel for reasons “in the national interest and important to Canada’s success as a country,” according to Little’s affidavit. A clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The program was also used to bring in unvaccinated Ukrainians fleeing the war.

Mandatory travel vaccinations for planes, trains and some ships have started. Power It was suspended on June 20, but liberals said it could resume if it surged.

Ministers have repeatedly said they are following science and public health advice to impose and maintain the mandate, but court documents to date indicate that Public Health Canada does not recommend it. increase.

The Epoch Times contacted Health Canada to find out if any individual, agency, or group within the department had ever recommended that the government impose, maintain, or remove vaccine mandates.

An unidentified spokesperson did not respond directly, instead pointing out that these policies were put in place by Transport Canada and the Ministry of Finance.

Noe Chartier


Noé Chartier is a reporter for the Epoch Times based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret

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