The British Columbia Court of Appeal has scheduled hearings for cases that seek to appeal the dismissal of challenges to the province’s discriminatory vaccine passport program. The appeals will be heard from October 4th to 6th, allowing a group of four previous challenges to have their cases reviewed.
These challenges were filed by individuals who believe that Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s vaccine passport regime is unconstitutional. However, their initial attempts to have the vaccine passport ruled as unconstitutional were dismissed by Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson in September 2022.
The cases will now be heard by a panel of judges, including Justice Abrioux, Justice Groberman, and Justice Skolrood. This decision to allow the appeals to proceed comes after government lawyers tried to argue that the cases were moot because vaccine passports were no longer mandated.
While three of the appellants were allowed to proceed with their cases, there were some setbacks. The Canadian Society for the Advancement of Public Policy (CSASPP) was removed as a party in their case, but the society’s executive director, Kip Warner, was allowed to remain. Additionally, a self-represented individual named Jeremy Maddock was removed as a party, and his case was not permitted to move forward.
The panel of judges will now consider whether B.C.’s vaccine passport regime, which had limited exemptions, is unconstitutional. The ruling on this matter could take months to be submitted.
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Overall, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has allowed cases challenging the province’s vaccine passport program to proceed in October. The appeals will provide an opportunity for these challenges to be reviewed and for further guidance to be provided on the issue.