TORONTO: The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is in court today fighting for an injunction to stop the federal quarantine hotels. The challenge is brought by the CCF and by five individual applicants who have just returned from travelling or imminently need to travel.
The quarantine hotel policy requires travellers entering Canada to take a COVID test and quarantine at a government approved hotel until they receive the results. Travellers pay out of pocket for these hotels, which can cost over $2,000 per traveller.
“We are in court today fighting for the constitutionally protected right of Canadians to enter their own country. These federal quarantine hotels are a limit on that right, and they are preventing individuals in this constitutional challenge from travelling for urgent and compassionate reasons,” said CCF Litigation Director, Christine Van Geyn.
The individual applicants in the challenge brought by the CCF are all travelling for compassionate reasons. For example, three applicants wish to travel to attend to the end of the life of a parent in another country. One applicant left Canada to attend a funeral, and another needs to travel to assist a spouse resident in another country while she undergoes surgery. While there are exemptions from the quarantine hotels for travellers entering Canada for compassionate reasons, there are no specific exemptions for travellers who must leave Canada for compassionate reasons.
“We are seeking an injunction today because these travellers have urgent needs. The fact that these travellers cannot access a compassionate exemption is cruel and unjust. That’s why we are proud to appear in court today to fight for their rights,” concluded Van Geyn.
The CCF is represented by Toronto lawyer Jonathan Roth.