TORONTO: The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) has filed materials seeking intervenor status in Toronto International Celebration Church’s legal challenge of the Ontario lockdown measures that limit religious worship to ten people.
“We are throwing our weight behind this legal challenge of lockdown measures and to stand up for the fundamental right to religious freedom,” said CCF Litigation Director, Christine Van Geyn. “We are reasonable, and believe that some health measures are justified in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But what concerns us is that the government has imposed a random cap of ten on church services during a very sacred period for Christians. Meanwhile big box stores are open and full. This church has taken extensive safety precautions to protect their congregants from COVID-19, but despite their best efforts, they have been shut down,” continued Van Geyn.
On Tuesday, December 15 the CCF will appear in court to schedule a motion for intervenor status in the challenge. The CCF is seeking to participate in both the emergency injunction, being heard on December 18, and in the church’s larger challenge, which will be heard in the new year.
The CCF will be represented by Toronto lawyer Ryan O’Connor, who has generously offered to prepare materials on a reduced fee basis.
“One of Canadians’ most important and long-standing freedoms is that of religious observance, which the Charter protects. We look forward to arguing in court that religious freedom can and must be protected alongside public health measures. The Charter hasn’t taken early retirement,” said Mr. O’Connor.
For the original version of this release see here.