The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing two students who were refused to continue their studies at Seneca College in Toronto. To be reinstated, they must take their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Mariana Costa is enrolled in a three-year Fashion Arts program, and she only has two semesters left. Crystal Love is enrolled in a two-year Veterinary Technician program. Both students are anticipated to complete their programs and begin their new careers in April 2022.
Seneca College’s President, David Agnew, sent the students a notice by email on June 18, 2021, advising them of the new vaccination requirement. The post-secondary institution announced that all staff and students need to be fully vaccinated by September 7 to participate in in-person on-campus activities. Seneca College was the first Canadian post-secondary institution to mandate vaccines for participation in the 2021-2022 school year.
The Justice Centre wrote a letter on behalf of Costa and Love in July, advising the College that if it did not lift the vaccine requirement for the two students, legal action would commence. Those letters never received a response.
Agnew stated in a column that it is "crystal clear" that some doors will open to the vaccinated and some will "remain closed to the unvaccinated."
Costa and Love have long-term student loan payments to contend with as they struggle to earn an income. Neither can finish their studies online.
Love is a single mother who has been working hard to be able to better provide for her children, and both women are anxious to finish their programs to be able to begin new careers.
"The Justice Centre is preparing a lawsuit against Seneca College on behalf of these students and intends to aggressively defend their Charter rights. Seneca’s policy is not only unconstitutional but also not science or evidence-based, as the CDC has admitted that fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections carry high viral loads and can spread the disease to others," noted Justice Centre Staff Lawyer Allison Pejovic.
"The use of coercive and intimidating tactics in threatening to destroy students' education and career prospects if they do not submit and receive the new Covid-19 vaccine is unethical and unlawful," adds Ms. Pejovic.
"We will fiercely defend these women and their right to bodily integrity and the freedom to choose what medical treatment they undertake, without the fear of being denied their education. In a free country, individuals are entitled to choose what they inject into their own bodies."
The Supreme Court of Canada has held that the Charter applies to the actions of colleges in Canada, and the Charter protects these students’ rights of conscience, privacy, and to life, liberty, and security of the person. A court may also find that vaccine mandates discriminate against the unvaccinated and violate their equality rights.
The students were not provided with all of the known potential risks associated with the COVID-19 vaccinations before being informed they would need them to complete their education. As of August 17, 65 percent or 40 of 61 Canadian universities do not have any mandatory vaccination policies in place.
The Justice Centre cited Bell's Palsy, myocarditis, pericarditis, and thrombosis as the adverse side effects of the vaccine. There are currently Health Canada warning labels for these conditions for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
The Justice Centre said there is scientific evidence that these vaccines do not stop transmission. Therefore, the post-secondary education vaccine mandates will not achieve the goals of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
In Iceland, where approximately 75 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, and over 90 percent of people over the age of 16 have had at least one shot, that country’s Chief Epidemiologist recently stated that herd immunity from vaccination has not and cannot be achieved, as the Delta variant can be contracted easily even by those who are vaccinated and spread to others.
This reality echoes a report from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) from a July 2021 outbreak in Cape Cod, Maine, where 469 COVID-19 cases were identified among residents who had travelled there, and 74 percent occurred in fully vaccinated persons. Of the five hospitalized cases, four were fully vaccinated.
According to the CDC, as of August 19, 2021, fully vaccinated people with a breakthrough infection produce the same high amount of virus as unvaccinated people. Both groups can spread the virus to others.
Natural immunity to COVID-19 has been proven to be very robust and long-lasting. In Israel, where approximately 60 percent of the population is fully immunized, data presented to the Israeli Health Ministry revealed that patients who recovered from the virus were far less likely to become infected during the latest wave of the pandemic than people who were vaccinated.
In Ontario, only 5 residents 19 and under died from COVID-19, while 90 died between the ages of 20 and 39. 8,723 residents 60 and older died from the virus.
Seventeen of 20 or 85 percent of Ontario universities have instituted a mandatory vaccine policy, although at some schools, students can opt for onerous twice-weekly testing regimes in lieu of the vaccine.
A total of 107,190 Ontarians died in 2019. The positivity rate is 3.31 percent from 16,884,271 total PCR tests taken. Out of the 14,733,119 residents, 9,471 people died, producing a survival rate of 99.94 percent. The case survival rate was 98.30 percent. Currently, 240 patients are hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 84 of them admitted in the ICU.