Release: Canadian Constitution Foundation achieves victory in quarantine hotel challenge for compassionate travel

Release: Canadian Constitution Foundation achieves victory in quarantine hotel challenge for compassionate travel

TORONTO: The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) has achieved a significant legal victory for compassionate travelers impacted by the quarantine hotel policy.

On May 27, the Government of Canada introduced the option for residents of Canada returning from compassionate travel to apply for a quarantine hotel exemption. The CCF had brought a constitutional challenge of the quarantine hotel policy on the grounds that the policy failed to create exemptions for compassionate travelers.

“We brought this challenge along with individuals with urgent compassionate travel needs, who were having their constitutionally protected right to enter their own country impaired by the cruel and unjust government quarantine hotel policy,” said CCF Litigation Director, Christine Van Geyn.

The individual applicants in the challenge brought by the CCF have traveled or are seeking to travel for compassionate reasons. For example, three applicants have travelled to attend the end of the life or funeral of parent in another country. Another needs to visit a parent at the end of her life, and another needs to travel to assist a spouse resident in another country while she undergoes surgery.

This amendment to the quarantine hotel policy comes on the heels of a federal expert advisory report that recommended ending the quarantine hotel policy entirely.

“The government’s quarantine policy is a house of cards, and it’s finally falling. The amendment to the policy to exempt compassionate travel is an obvious response to the legal challenge brought by the CCF, and we and our applicants are thrilled with this victory. But the government still needs to answer for the damage they have done to these travelers and their rights. And the Canadian public deserves a decision on the legality of this policy. That’s why we are proceeding with the hearing on the merits of our case on June 28,” continued Van Geyn.

“I would also like to thank our individual applicants who put their names forward for the benefit of thousands of others. This victory will do so much to help the many Canadians who still need to travel for compassionate reasons, and would not have been possible without the contributions of these brave applicants.”

Any person who has already travelled for compassionate reasons and was not exempted from the quarantine hotel is urged to contact CCF lawyer Jonathan Roth of Roth Advocacy Professional Corporation for information about their legal rights.

The original version of this release is available here.