Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has filed two complaints against BC’s provincial health officer and prime minister over the provincial COVID-19 vaccine card.

Normally, the court does not publish screening decisions taken to determine whether a complaint can be heard. However, due to the receipt of a “large amount” of inquiries and complaints claiming that the vaccine card was discriminatory, it was determined to be in the public interest, according to court documents.

The first complaint was filed against Dr. Bonnie Henry, who claimed that the evidence in the vaccination program discriminated against the applicant on the ground of disability. The complainant claimed to have asthma and a case of pneumonia as a child. The complainant also stated that he “does not want your trial vaccine”.

In the end, his complaint was dropped because he could not establish a link between having asthma and not being fully vaccinated. The US-based Allergy and Asthma Network said it is safe for people with asthma to get a COVID-19 vaccination as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to the vaccine or any of its ingredients.

The second complaint was filed against Prime Minister John Horgan, who claimed that the vaccine card constituted discrimination on the grounds of political conviction.

The President of the European Court of Human Rights, Emily Ohler, wrote that political beliefs are only a basis for discrimination in relation to employment, advertising for employment and membership of employment-related organizations as trade unions.

The complainant lodged her complaint on behalf of not only herself but a class of “people who are opposed to being forced to get the COVID -19 vaccination and have our fundamental human rights and freedoms removed from us.”

While Ohler agreed that a genuine belief that opposes government rules on vaccination can be a political belief within the human rights code, “I emphasize that protection against discrimination based on political belief does not exempt a person from following provincial health orders or rules. . “

Ohler dismissed the complaint as it could not prove how political opposition to the vaccine card adversely affected the applicant’s employment and referred only to the announcement of the BC vaccine card, not to orders requiring employees in certain professions to be vaccinated.

Veronica Martisius of the BC Civil Liberties Association told Black PRess Media that there has been an increase in people who “mistakenly” believe their human rights are being violated by public health orders.

“Just feeling oppressed by the government because you have been asked to wear a mask in a store or provide proof of vaccination to access non-essential services is not an acceptable human rights complaint under BC Human Rights Code, “she said.

Meanwhile, people with a disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask are entitled to affordable accommodation.

Affordable accommodation may include serving a customer outside or providing an online delivery service. Failure to provide adequate accommodation for a person with a disability can be discrimination. ”

The Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights – a separate unit of the Court of Human Rights, which exists to provide education, advocacy and policy around the BC Human Rights Code – said they have received more than 1,000 phone calls and over 4,000 emails related to the BC vaccine shortly since 28 August .

BC Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender said in a statement to Black Press Media that although she understands how people feel that the vaccine card is a violation of their rights and that medical exemptions are an important abode, she does not believe the program violates human rights.

“A person who chooses not to be vaccinated by personal preferences – especially when this choice is based on misinformation or misunderstandings of scientific information – has no basis for a human rights complaint.”

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