TravelEthics of Mandatory COVID Vaccination in Travel Not Considered,...

Ethics of Mandatory COVID Vaccination in Travel Not Considered, Testifies Canadian Official Behind Policy


- Advertisment -spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

The issue of whether it is ethical to impose a vaccine requirement to travel is not something that was given consideration by the Canadian official who wrote the policy, court documents show.

Jennifer Little, director general of the COVID Recovery Team at Transport Canada, was responsible for drafting the vaccine mandate policy that precluded millions of Canadians from taking a plane, train, and some marine vessels.

Little testified as a witness for the government in its defence of the travel mandate that is currently being challenged in federal court.

During her June 9 cross-examination, Little was asked if she had a conversation with anyone in government that would have considered whether a mandate is ethical.

“I’m not aware of any particular study or specific conversation to that effect,” Little said, noting that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) “may have literature on the ethics of vaccination mandates.”

Little was pointed to a PHAC policy called “Public health ethics framework: A guide for use in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.”

When questioned if she had consulted it, Little said she had not.

The PHAC policy makes no mention of vaccine mandates but states that “Trust and Justice” are its guiding values and principles. It adds other principles such as the respect of human rights and minimizing harm.

While not giving ethical considerations to the mandate, Little said she had sought legal advice as to whether the policy would impact Charter rights.

Little was cross-examined along with over a dozen other witnesses and experts presented by the attorney general to defend the federal policy of mandatory vaccination in transportation.

Four lawsuits are challenging the mandate the federal government suspended on June 20. Despite only suspending and not abolishing the mandate, the government is trying to have the legal actions declared moot.

The Liberal government imposed mandates in transportation and the public service and federally-regulated sectors in October last year.

WHO on Vaccine Mandates

In her affidavit submitted for the case, Little said Transport Canada has “duly considered and, as necessary, acted” on the guidance of different organizations to implement measures to protect the transportation sector and the Canadian public.

The domestic organizations listed include the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Health Canada (HC), and the international organizations listed are the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Little testified on June 9 that she had not seen a recommendation from PHAC or HC for a vaccine mandate in travel.

During her cross-examination on June 10, lawyer and applicant Nabil Belkacem also remarked that the vaccine mandate in travel is not supported by the WHO nor ICAO.

“Do we agree that at the current time your position is in direct opposition with the WHO?” asked Belkacem.

Little acknowledged that excerpts from a WHO brief presented by Belkacem “certainly indicates that [WHO is] not supportive of vaccination mandates.”

“But to my knowledge, we are not under a legal obligation to follow guidelines of the World Health Organization,” she said.

The WHO policy brief “COVID-19 and mandatory vaccination: Ethical considerations” published on May 30 says the “WHO has issued a position statement that national authorities and conveyance operators should not require COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of international travel.”

The ICAO also does not support mandatory vaccination in travel.

“In view of the global unequal access to vaccines and the unsuitability or intolerance of use of vaccines by some individuals, vaccination should not be a prerequisite for international travel,” says the organization in a list of recommendations.

No Ethicist

Another government witness was also cross-examined on the issue of ethical considerations for the vaccine mandate.

Dr. Eleni Galanis, director general of the Centre for Integrated Risk Assessment (CIRA) within PHAC, is part of an advisory group that meets weekly with Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

Galanis said on June 23 that the ethics of proposed public health measures are discussed within the group, but there is no particular individual with a special background such as a lawyer or medical ethicist.

“The balance between individual rights and the need to protect the health of the population, the greater good, is regularly touched on in the discussions around … the implementation of public health measures,” she said.

Galanis said the issue of mandatory vaccination in travel was “mentioned, but not really discussed” during meetings with Dr. Tam.

“Has she ever directed you or anyone else on the group to find supportive evidence to justify the … vaccination mandate?” asked lawyer Sam Presvelos, who represents applicants Karl Harrison and Shaun Rickard.

“No, not since I’ve been there,” said Galanis. “And I don’t attend every week, but since December when I attend … I don’t recall this being discussed.”

Noé Chartier


Noé Chartier is an Epoch Times reporter based in Montreal.

Twitter: @NChartierET
Gettr: @nchartieret

Read More

Latest news

Mario Strikers: Battle League Version 1.1.1 Is Now Live, Here Are The Full Patch Notes

Update today by Liam Doolan 2 hours agoMario Strikers: Battle League has just received a new update. It bumps...

Nintendo Announces The Next N64 Game For Switch Online + Expansion Pack

Wave Race 64 makes a splash later this week by Liam Doolan 2 hours agoNintendo hasn't outlined the future...

Disney & Marvel Announce First Ever Games Showcase, Airing September 9th

Avatar, Lego Star Wars and more! by Liam Doolan 3 hours agoFollowing on from THQ Nordic's digital showcase last...

Fortnite’s Dragon Ball Crossover Trailer Appears To Have Leaked, Here’s A Look

This collab is over 9000! by Liam Doolan 3 hours agoUpdate : Well, it seems the official trailer for...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

Gamescom 2022: Everything You Need To Know

It's August, and that means that Geoff Keighley's Never-Ending Train Of Games is chugga-chuggin' into Cologne, Germany for the...

Nipsey Hussle Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame: ‘He Lives Forever’

Revered rapper Nipsey Hussle was posthumously honored with the 2,729th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on what...

Must read

Rivian, Lucid rush to help buyers with existing EV tax credit before it expires

Luxury electric vehicle startups Rivian Automotive and Lucid Motors...

Aston Martin DBR22 concept car bows at Pebble Beach

Aston Martin is rolling out a concept car this...

VW, Mahindra deepen EV component cooperation

FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group and Mahindra and Mahindra will...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you