April 29, 2021
Ten active and five former police officers are taking the province to court over Ontario’s COVID-19 response.
The notice of application , filed last week in Ontario Superior Court, names Premier Doug Ford, the Attorneys General of Ontario and Canada, and chiefs of Toronto, York, Niagara, Ottawa and Hamilton police services as respondents. It challenges the province’s COVID-19 measures as unconstitutional, and also argues that forcing police to enforce the rules is a violation of the oath undertaken by Ontario’s sworn officers.
Many Ontario police officers, said Lawyer Rocco Galati of the Constitutional Rights Centre and representative of the 15 officers, don’t receive enforcement guidance from legislation.
“They’re taking their cue from the moron politicians and supervisors who haven’t taken the time to read the law and realize, this is not easy to enforce unless you want to make your own law on the spot,” he said.
“These regulations lead to police state and martial law measures.”
The pandemic, says the claim, doesn’t meet the criteria for an ’emergency’ under the Emergency Management Civil Protection (EMCP) Act.
The applicants also allege the province lacks the powers to impose lockdowns or stay-at-home orders as per the Constitution Act.
The application’s arguments opposing the province’s response centres around largely debunked claims surrounding the province’s use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, claiming current methodologies leads to a false positive rate approaching 96.5%.
Police officers identified as applicants include active members of the Toronto, York, Hamilton and Niagara police — both named and listed anonymously — and a number of retired members of the same services, including a retired corporal with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Toronto police confirmed to the Sun that they were aware of the action.
“The Toronto Police Service’s position is that the provincial emergency legislation is lawful,” a police spokesperson said.
“The Service expects its officers to carry out their lawful duties and enforce the law.”
A spokesperson for Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General said the application’s currently under review, and declined further comment as the matter is subject to litigation.