I am no lawyer, nor do I claim to understand all the legal terms, case law or constitutional challenges before the courts. However, there is a concern as a reasonable person who is against any establishment binding the conscience of a Christian to partake in medical procedures. The concern multiplies when the Canadian courts or other agencies appear biased or political.
Two sections of human rights legislation have come under great debate over the last two plus years. These are the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code. Under section two of the Federal Charter, there is a breakdown of the fundamental rights for all Canadians. They are freedom of conscience and religion, thought and belief, opinion and expression, and assembly and association.  What does this federal document do?
The rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Charter govern how governments act, including the right to equality, freedom of expression and the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or security of the person, except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.
This is important. Considering fundamental justice has not been violated concerning a new virus called COVID-19, nor accepting or rejecting a vaccine into one’s body while legally in the experimental stages. Nonetheless, Federal Charter rights were suspended haphazardly by elected M.P.s. So was the second document that is of interest to those living in the province of Ontario. As it was also ignored by elected M.P.P’s. Section 2 of The Human Rights Code of Ontario gives much reflection on how far things have deteriorated.
2 (1) Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods, and facilities, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, s. 1; 1999, c. 6, s. 28 (1); 2001, c. 32, s. 27 (1); 2005, c. 5, s. 32 (1); 2012, c. 7
Since late 2020, those who have refused a vaccination specifically for COVID-19 have witnessed their Human Rights significantly violated. It is important to note most Canadians, specifically Ontario residents are not anti-vax; they are concerned over one specific vaccine. Regardless, the HRTO has deemed religious rights do not constitute protection through political or biased reasoning. Therefore, the unvaccinated have not had equal treatment with respect to services. People have been denied access to facilities with discrimination solely based upon a religious conviction. Further, according to section five of the Human Rights of Ontario code,
every person has the right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.
Yet, citizens from every vocation have been stripped of their livelihood because of a creedal conviction of conscience or disability. Before moving forward, this needs to be clarified. In 2004 the Supreme Court of Canada decided on Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem regarding the issue of Jewish residents being able to erect Succah.. The court ruled that a condominium association breached Jewish owners freedom of religion by denying (some) Jewsish residents from erecting succahs. Through the Supreme Court ruling, the court made several considerations regarding constitutional liberties in Canada. In the case documents, Per McLachlin C.J. and Iacobucci, Major, Arbour and Fish J.J. made the following considerations,
Defined broadly, religion typically involves a particular and comprehensive system of faith and worship. In essence, religion is about freely and deeply held personal convictions or beliefs connected to an individual’s spiritual faith and integrally linked to his or herself‑definition and spiritual fulfillment, the practices of which allow individuals to foster a connection with the divine or with the subject or object of that spiritual faith
The case specifically dealt in the context of the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but in the Supreme Courts consideration, the judge addressed in the original case “The judge based his finding concerning freedom of religion solely on what he perceived to be the objective obligatory requirements of Judaism.
Has this not occurred in Ontario? Since 2020, I have met many sincere Christians—some within the congregation and others from various Protestant congregations. The meetings were to examine their professions of faith and conscientious objections regarding the vaccine. They were anxious and spiritually exhausted over being mandated to be vaccinated and requested a religious exemption letter. Sadly a majority of those letters were declined because of a perceived objective obligatory requirement of Christianity.
As ordained clergy, within the Protestant, Reformed Baptist faith my position did not matter. Perhaps this was due to the many pastors working in cooperation with the government. Regardless, it was declared by a manager, a union board, a school trustee or even a Union that a person’s religious convictions did not meet a specific criteria to be exempt. Let’s say that again. A non, religious leader, who is not ordained, or theological disciplined determined what is and what is not a criteria of Protestant Christianity. More alarming is that on these boards and committees, there was no presence of any ordained clergy within the professed denomination nor did these “decision makers” contact the clergy who wrote the exemption. In short, civil oversight took the church’s position to confirm what is and is not a religious conviction.
Thus, making the same error as the judge in the original Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem case. Christian Joppke addressed this case in his work, Legal Integration of Islam, illustrating what some of the outcomes were for religious conscience in Canada, he wrote
The 2004 case Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem further diluted the legal hegemony of Christianity in Canada by recognizing an individual’s right to religious practices that are based simply on that person’s sincere conviction that the practice is related to a religious belief. In other words, the practice need not have been enjoined by religious authorities; the issue was only whether the individual felt compelled by his or her own religious beliefs to engage in the practice.
Furthermore, in volume 29 of Osgoode Hall Law School digital commons, Richard Moon comments on this specific case.
Justice Iacobucci, writing for the majority, held that the application of the condominium by-law, in this case, amounted to a restriction on the appellants’ freedom of religion. Significantly, he held that the by-law restricted their freedom, even though several of them did not believe that they were under a religious obligation to erect a succah on their own property and accept that their spiritual obligations could be met by residing in a communal succah, or a succah at the home of a friend or relative.
Here is an essential aspect of Christianity that many judges are missing and do not understand- Christian liberty. Whereas some Christians may feel free or prohibited in a particular area of conscience, while other Christians may feel differently, each is required to follow their convictions. This is no better highlighted in the 1689 2nd London Baptist Confession of Faith, chapter 21.
God alone is Lord of the conscience (James 4:12, Romans 14:4), and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men who are in anything contrary to his word, or not contained in it (Acts 4:19,29; 1 Corinthians 7:23; Matthew 15:9). So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience (Colossians 2:20,22-23); and the requiring of an implicit faith, absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also (1 Corinthians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 1:24)
The conviction of conscience is not strictly a Reformation belief against Romanism, but that each believer is to follow their conscience in accordance with the word of God, which the Supreme Court has deemed as acceptable and right. Moon concludes in his article regarding the court’s decision with this,
Religious belief is not simply a fixed attribute or characteristic. The individual’s commitment to a set of religious beliefs rests on their judgment or acceptance that they are true or right and that other views are false… But religion is not simply a personal choice or preference. It is deeply rooted and tied to the individual’s social or cultural membership. It shapes the individual’s understanding of himself/or herself and the world
The COVID vaccine matter is not temporary booths on balconies in Montreal. The issue is a vaccine going inside the human body. A new vaccine, a vaccine that has been reported to cause myocarditis within mainstream news outlets and medical journals. A vaccine that has been reported to interfere with a woman’s menstrual cycle and other unknown long-term effects will undoubtedly play a part in certain Christians’ strong and rooted convictions. However, axiety and a broken health care system does not provide justification to deny rights – this does not allow governing agencies to ignore fundamental human rights or override previous supreme court rulings or established laws.
Thankfully we are seeing some progress in Ontario. Such as an arbitrator ruling in which Public Health Sudbury violated the Human Rights Code regarding creed when a nurse was terminated over a refusal to be vaccinated for COVID. With more case law leaning towards honouring the established laws already in place, we are starting to see a small shift; how long is uncertain as laws seem to not mean much by those who create them. Sadly federal and provincial health officials are starting up their rhetoric or masking (again) and getting for some, a fifth booster.
Remember, I am no lawyer, but a reasonable, thinking person, and what I see taking place in Canada, specifically Ontario, is an absolute power grab – there is mould in the flower. Since many people will not dig up information, nor can they afford legal counsel, many will roll with the punches. However, there must be more speaking up, especially with pastors protecting their congregations. Both the Ontario Human rights code and the Charter protect against certain violations. What is more violating than being injected with something against your will? This may be shocking, but when a person puts something into another persons body without consent, it is called assault. And remember, coercion does not mean consent. Are we simply reverting to pre-World War Two Nazi German antics where the populace is to shut up and do what they are told? To say nothing or challenge no one and allow medical experimentation to take place?
In 1947 the nations came together and agreed that all humans must consent by free choice, without intervention or element of force regarding medical experiments.. Force, such as mandates, losing income, violation of conscience. It does not have to be physical. Destroy someones life and they will comply. As for the experiment. The vaccine was authorized for emergency use with very fast trials, and many medical journals are seeing potential concerns as it was not thoroughly tested. If this does not justify hesitation, what does? Further, since the vaccines were in trial stages, released early and those injected could not sue the companies or government agencies, the matter of experiment procedure was held by many. It is not a matter of conspiracy theory but a reality in what a person feels and holds as a conscientious issue. This is also highlighted in the Nuremberg code, 1947,
The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.
The Government of Canada, the provincial government of Ontario, municipal leaders and employers all must protect and be law-abiding. A global pandemic, and health officers in no way, shape or form have the right to determine what is a religious conviction or a conviction of bodily autonomy. Courts have already ruled on this long before COVID. Further, as Canada is a sovereign nation, there is no justification for an outside agency, regardless of if it is the W.H.O. or another N.G. O’s to determine what a citizen may or may not do– there are no legal grounds for forced vaccination. For those who ask, “what about loving your neighbour?” That has been written on already.
So, as a reasonable person, I suggest each person needs to start getting serious about the absolute abuse and violations that have taken place. It is time to hold all officials accountable (including pastors who demanded vaccines and masks to attend a local church service). It is time to demand employment returned, to request lawyers start taking cases and fill the courts if need be until there is a reversal, commitment, and legislation never to travel down such an undemocratic and authoritarian road again. The squeaky wheel gets the grease so let us start making some noise.
Last, as a pastor, let it be known, the church is not here to enforce government decrees. On the contrary, we will oppose and resist laws that violate our fundamental rights and our Christian heritage of conscience. If you are not attending a church, or worried that you are not welcomed because of a medical decision, reach out to us. Either we can link you to a safe church or you can attend The Mill.
In His Grace,
 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. October 19, 2022, https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/page-12.html
 Learn about the Charter. April 4, 2022, https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/rfc-dlc/ccrf-ccdl/learn-apprend.html
 Human Rights Code R.S.O. 1990, c. H19 October 18, 12 https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h19
 Human Rights Code, https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h19
 A Sukkah is a temporary decorated booth or shelter used by Jewish adherents during the festival of Sukkot.
 Supreme Court Judgments, Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem, https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/2161/index.do
 Supreme Court, Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem,
 Christian Joppke. Legal Integration of Islam: A Transatlantic Comparison (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press 2013) 92
 Moon, Richard. “Religious Commitment and Identity: Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem.” The Supreme Court Law Review: Osgoode’sAnnual Constitutional Cases Conference 29. (2005) 5http://digitalcommons.osgoode.yorku.ca/sclr/vol29/iss1/11
 Moon, Richard.,
 Meltzer, Julius. Arbitrator finds employer violated Ontario Human Rights Code for termination over vaccine refusal. July 27, 2022, https://www.benefitscanada.com/human-resources/hr-law/arbitrator-finds-employer-violated-ontario-human-rights-code-for-termination-over-vaccine-refusal/
 The Nuremberg Code. https://media.tghn.org/medialibrary/2011/04/BMJ_No_7070_Volume_313_The_Nuremberg_Code.pdf Nuremberg.,