Harold Ristau, a retired military chaplain, also spoke powerfully of the effects of mandating “vaccines” on the Canadian military. Military chaplains were forbidden from providing guidance on religious exemptions. This is an abuse of chaplain consciences, and is likely unlawful. No exemptions for religious, spiritual, or matters of conscience were allowed. Chaplains were forced to contradict their consciences, compelled to ignore the relationships between cells from aborted fetuses and the “vaccines,” by not advocating for exemptions. Chaplains were thus not expected to support religious accommodation requests. Eventually, they were provided with an assessment tool that precluded “sincerely held beliefs”. Applicants were to be challenged on their beliefs. If a church opposed the “vaccines,” and thus departed from the mainstream media narrative, then government decided that a religious exemption backed by such a church would not be valid. If a church lacked a “vaccine policy” (a formal statement against vaccines), then any exemptions supported by that church were deemed to be invalid. Very few received an exemption. Violating soldiers’ consciences, he argued, is probably the worst thing one could do spiritually and psychologically to these soldiers.
Preston Manning noted that this sounded like a violation of the fundamental right to the freedom of religion. David Ross remarked that there seems to be a widespread failure in the system of command. Padre Ristau said that morale is at an all time low, and the CAF is struggling with recruitment.
Sam Presvelos, a corporate commercial lawyer in Toronto, spoke more as a concerned citizen. The “quarantine hotel” issue in particular alarmed him: people commanded, against their will, to stay in a hotel, struck him as a fundamental breach of democracy. He notes that our rights are not absolute, but are limited—but the problem is that the limitation stated in Section 1 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is legislatively weak and ambiguous (“1. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”). Our rights mean the most when the threat is greatest, he emphasized. It is not reasonable to suggest that the seriousness of a “pandemic” means that our rights must kneel. The problem with the imprecision of the Charter’s Section 1…is that it is imprecise. The government must use the least restrictive measure in order to not overreach our rights.
Preston Manning said a bill that affected Canadians’ rights should have been presented to Parliament for debate—and not pushed through as an Order in Council. Presvelos says we have lost sight of who is serving whom. That travel rights, domestically, can be suspended by a single individual (Trudeau) is deeply disturbing and an indication of our problem.
Leslie Smith, a lawyer in Ontario for 34 years, and a judge for 17 years, took to task the bias of Chief Justice Richard Wagner against the protesting truckers. She militated for lodging a complaint in the Canadian Judicial Council, because he would be eventually ruling on cases related to the truckers and the invocation of the Emergencies Act, indicating that he has already reached a conclusion (a particularly severe one). Usually, such bias is a basis for appeal—but not when the top justice of the country is involved. This undermines public confidence in the integrity of the judicial system. The complaint to the Judicial Council has in fact been filed.
Preston Manning noted that the Chief Justice is also the Chair of the Judicial Council itself. Smith noted that there are multiple procedures of investigation, and the outcome is not a foregone conclusion. Manning said that if this happened in the US, there would have been a motion to impeach the judge. Smith is not sure that process exists for Canadians.