Pandemic Travel Bans on Trial, Canada Supreme Court to Decide Newfoundland Case – Travel And Tour World

Canada’s Supreme Court to hear an appeal on Newfoundland’s COVID-19 travel ban, initially blocked Kim Taylor from attending her mother’s funeral.

Canada’s highest judicial authority, the Supreme Court, has consented to review a case concerning Newfoundland and Labrador’s early pandemic border closure.

The lawsuit was initiated by Kim Taylor from Nova Scotia, with support from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, challenging the constitutional validity of the travel restrictions imposed by the province.

Taylor was prohibited from entering Newfoundland and Labrador on May 5, 2020, to attend her mother’s funeral. Her case was initially dismissed in September 2020, and her subsequent appeal was not taken up by the provincial court in 2023. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court of Canada has now agreed to allow Taylor’s final appeal.

Debate over constitutional rights
The province enacted a ban on incoming travelers from outside on April 29, 2020. While residents could return, others needed explicit permission from Janice Fitzgerald, the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Taylor’s legal representatives contended that these restrictions breached Section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which ensures all Canadians the freedom to move and reside anywhere in Canada.

In defense, provincial attorneys cited Section 1 of the Charter, which allows for “reasonable limits” on rights, arguing that the severity of the pandemic justified restrictions on movement.

Justice Donald Burrage of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court acknowledged that the travel restrictions infringed upon Section 6 but concurred that they fell within reasonable bounds.

When the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal was approached in 2023, they refused the initial appeal, stating the issue was irrelevant as the travel ban had already been lifted.

The post Pandemic Travel Bans on Trial, Canada Supreme Court to Decide Newfoundland Case appeared first on Travel And Tour World.