Monday, May 17, 2021

Lockdown protests banned in Nova Scotia

Premier says he's not backing down on lockdown rules — even if they limit individual rights | CBC News - Chris Hall:

May 15, 2021 - "Nova Scotia's Premier Iain Rankin says he'll continue to use every legal means available to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province — even if the effort ends up limiting individual rights. The province obtained a court injunction Friday to halt a protest against its lockdown measures — which include keeping the border closed to non-essential travel and people attempting to move to the province, along with hefty fines for anyone caught travelling outside the zone in which they live.

"'I'll do whatever I have to do that's within the confines of the law and the public health emergency that we have in place to keep Nova Scotians safe,' Rankin told CBC's The House in an interview airing Saturday. 'I recognize that people really value their freedom, freedom of expression. And I believe in all those things. But you can't take away the freedom for individuals to be able to live in a society where they're not fearful of contracting COVID.'

"The injunction prevents a group called Freedom Nova Scotia from staging a planned protest rally today. The court order also authorizes police to use reasonable force in arresting anyone who takes part in one of these protests....

"The Canadian Civil Liberties Association wrote the premier this week to say that closing the border to the rest of the country violates mobility rights guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 'The Charter requires that when governments restrict rights, they do so in a manner that is minimally intrusive,' wrote association director Cara Faith Zwibel. 'In the current circumstance, self-isolation can be effectively paired with testing requirements to mitigate risk. Completely excluding Canadians from the province is neither necessary nor appropriate.'

"Rankin isn't backing down. He said it's clear that some people were ignoring the mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors entering the province.... 

"As of Friday, the province had more than 1,530 active cases of COVID-19 and 21 patients in intensive care. Nova Scotia has one of the lowest vaccination rates among the provinces; only about 30 per cent of Nova Scotians have received their first doses. That pace has picked up in recent days and everyone in the province aged 35 and older is now eligible to be vaccinated."

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