Transcription – English – Gail Davidson

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Gail Davidson:
I'm going to talk about Canada's international human rights law obligations and the unlawfulness of the COVID mandates that restrict rights and of the emergency measures.

Trish Wood:
Well, please do.

Gail Davidson:
Thank you. Before I begin my presentation, I would just like to say thank you to everyone organizing, participating in and attending this important citizens hearing. Public debate is the very lifeblood of democracy, and this is the beginning of the debate that is needed to restore our democracy. And now I'm going to jump right into my presentation. The COVID mandates restricted many rights, including to freedoms from torture, coerced medical treatment, medical experimentation, and arbitrary detention and rights to education, health, work, movement, security of the person, expression, association, assembly, privacy, due process. The right to participate in social, cultural and public affairs, equality and non-discrimination and the right to effective remedies for rights violations. The right to expression includes, of course, the right to access and distribute information and to engage in public debate and in dissent. Now, Canada's international human rights law obligations arise from treaties, customary international law and membership in the United Nations and the Organization of American States and Canada has agreed to be bound by the charter's and the founding human rights declarations of those organizations, which include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man. Canada has signed on to an as a state party to virtually all the core UN human rights treaties. This body of law imposes legal duties on Canada to guarantee rights, democratic governance, the rule of law, and effective measures to prevent and remedy the arbitrary use of power by the by state authorities to either violate rights or to fail to fulfill their legal obligations. The Supreme Court of Canada has determined on several occasions that Canadian law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, must be interpreted as a providing at least as much protection of guaranteed rights as is provided by the treaties that Canada has signed.

Gail Davidson:
And because Canada's charter provides quite weak rights protection, it is very important, in my view, to rely on international human rights law jurisprudence to determine what the law actually allows and prohibits. So let's talk I'd like to talk first about what international human rights law prohibits. It prohibits the restriction of some rights which we call non durable rights and in normal and emergency times conditionally allows the restriction of other rights which we call non durable rights there. There's another category of rights that should be considered non durable but are not yet designated as such. So rights that can never be legally restricted or suspended include rights to freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Freedom from non consensual medical or scientific experimentation. Freedom from coerced or or forced medical treatment. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion and rights to life equality and non-discrimination and access to effective remedies for violations. All mandates that restrict these rights are absolutely unlawful and cannot be legally justified. As you know that if the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson Johnson products are experimental and were at the time, they were approved and still are, and therefore any mandate that either compels non voluntary vaccination or allows vaccination without fully informed consent is unlawful and violates Canada's international law duties. These restrictions cannot be justified by a pandemic or emergency declarations or by calling the pharmaceutical products vaccines.

Gail Davidson:
And because informed consent is so central to these legal rights issues. I just like to tell you what Canada said in a 2020 report to the UN Committee Against Torture, Canada's. Stated, quote, Medical treatment must only be provided with the consent of the patient, close quote. The report then goes on to describe what informed consent is, and this is what it says. For consent to be considered valid, it must be provided voluntarily by a person capable of providing consent, and it must refer to the treatment and provider who will perform or undertake the treatment. Consent must also be informed, meaning that certain issues must be discussed with the patient prior to consent being obtained, such as expected consequences of the proposed treatment. Special or unusual risks of the treatment. Alternatives to treatment the likely consequences if no treatment is undertaken and the success rates of different alternative methods of treatment. The principle of respect for autonomy underpins the right to inform consent. That's what Canada had to say in 2020 to the United Nations Committee Against Torture. Valid consent was not made, was made impossible by a combination of propaganda, lack of information, and imposition of severe punishments for failure to submit, or even failure to promote. Acceptance of the pharmaceutical products rights that are essential to the maintenance of other rights can also be considered non druggable, and those include rights to health, education and work. Now international human rights allows states limited power to restrict other rights, both in normal times and states of emergency.

Gail Davidson:
In both situations, the restrictions must be in accordance with international human rights, law, principles and purposes. In other words, they must essentially be restrictions put in place to ensure rights, democratic governance and the rule of law. In normal times, for instance, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights allow states to conditionally restrict rights to movement, liberty and security of the person, expression, manifestation of belief, association and assembly. But to be legal, these restrictions must comply with, number one, the purpose specified in the treaty, the purpose for the restriction. Number two, the general purposes of the treaty. So, for instance, that treaties purpose is to, quote, recognize the dignity of each individual and promote conditions that allow the enjoyment of civil and political rights by all. The third condition that the restrictions have to comply with conditions of lawfulness, legitimacy, necessity, proportionality and temporariness. It is up to the state to justify restrictions and to provide access to the information upon which the state has acted in order to allow debate, assessment and informed compliance or opposition mandates. Restricting rights to movement, expression, security of the person, association, assembly and manifestation of belief did not fulfil these conditions. So are arbitrary and not lawful. Lastly, in terms of public emergency, international human rights allows states to impose additional exceptional and temporary restrictions of rights, but only when these additional conditions are fulfilled. Number one, there is a public emergency that threatens the life of the nation, a threat to the capital, a threat to a province or territory.

Gail Davidson:
That's not sufficient. Number two, the state has proclaimed a state of emergency domestically and has given notice to the UN Secretary General of the factual and legal justification for the declaration and the specific measures to be imposed. Now, Canada didn't do that. There is no notice as far as I've been able to ascertain whatsoever made to the UN. Number three, the emergency measures must comply with something called the Syracusa Principles, adopted globally in 1984 to deter states from using illegal measures of emergency to arbitrarily restrict rights. Emergency measure actions must be transparent, open to debate and assessment by both residents and by the international community. So for instance, when the UN Secretary General receives the notice that notices is transmitted to every state that is party to every treaty that. It's going to be a factor. So the three main treaties here, that would be basically transmission to approximately 185 countries who would then have a say. The right of states to temporarily restrict durable rights does not authorize abandonment of democratic lawmaking or the arbitrary restriction of protected rights. Restrictions must fulfill international human rights conditions and be made in accordance with. This is a very important part. Laws that are properly purposed and passed in accordance with established democratic procedures that involve notice, public consultation, dissemination of information, debate, approval by either members of Parliament and Senators or by members of legislative assemblies and finally publication. So, viewed through the lens of Canada's binding international human rights law obligations, the mandates imposed, promoted and allowed in Canada are arbitrary and unlawful. Thank you.

Trish Wood:
Thank you for for doing that presentation. It's certainly a thought I have had during the pandemic. Even using the word torture. I thought of all of the old people and disabled people locked away in their rooms and long term care for days at a time and thought it's torture and isn't there a treaty somewhere that can resolve this? But I'll pass those kind of questions to the panel because I'm sure they've got a lot.

Preston Manning:
To thank you for this. But if if the government is prepared to violate rights supposedly enshrined in its own constitution, what's the prospect of it being willing to abide by rights, protection in international treaties? Or put another way, if we can't hold the government accountable to for its violation of rights under Canadian law, is there some mechanism or some prospect for holding them accountable for violations of right provisions under international law?

Gail Davidson:
Well, thanks for that question. I would say that Canada has quite weak rights protection, and the United Nations and the Organization of American States have quite weak enforcement provisions. Having said that, I think that it would be useful for people to make complaints to the various United Nations and Organization of American States treaty monitoring, human rights monitoring organizations. So, for instance, in the UN, complaints or reports could be made to the Committee Against Torture, the UN Human Rights Committee, and also to the UN Human Rights Council and to a variety of special rapporteurs for who monitor rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of association and assembly and freedom of privacy, the right to health, the right to education and so on and so forth. And what would be the utility of doing that? Because each body that those are whatever bodies that complaints are made to the body, is going to make a recommendation for compliance to Canada. They're going to note the violations and make recommendations. And Canada can ignore those recommendations, but they are embarrassing because they do get international attention. And so one of the problems with the so far unaccountable, sweeping violations that that provincial and federal governments have engaged in during COVID is that so far, there's no accountability and there's not even any public knowledge because we've lost the freedom of the press, that there's alternative media that is reporting on on the accurate information, accurate and up to date scientific information and on factual information regarding the lack of safety, lack of efficacy and the harm, the adverse effects.

Gail Davidson:
But that's not widespread right now. So complaints to the United Nations, more so than a complaint to the Organization of American States, would certainly garner more attention. And so I think in sorry for the long answer, yes, I think that would be an effective way to go. And also other people that have been here today have made wonderful suggestions. Dr. Welburn said the committee, the decision making process must be open and transparent. I totally agree. Dr. Phillips said that the the adverse event reporting system should be open and should be available to the public, both the accepted adverse events that said, yes, those are vaccine infected. And these ones that said no, we say they aren't. And Dr. Christian in Regina made a, I'm going to hopefully Dr. Christian, I'm not misquoting you. But basically one of the things that he said is everybody has to take responsibility for being involved to defend the rights of others, not just their own rights, but the rights of others, and to get actively involved in their democracy, because otherwise it's gone.

Trish Wood:
I think David's got a quick final question and we need a quick answer to because.

Gail Davidson:
We're running out of time. Okay.

David Ross:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Gail, very much for your presentation. It's excellent. Do you know if the federal government has been asked or provincial governments been asked regarding these shortcomings in human rights law? And if so, what has been their response?

Gail Davidson:
Oh, glad you asked it, because certainly I've sent both to the provincial and federal governments outline of the fact that they're violating international law. And I got no answer. In most cases, I never even got a bounce back saying We received your email and gosh, it takes us usually three months to reply. So there you are. And just before I know I'm taking too long, but before I leave, I just want to say one more thing. I want to extend my admiration and gratitude for all of the people across Canada who have heroically sacrificed their careers and their income to stand up for their own important rights and to speak out for the rights of others. Thank you to you.

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