Several Ontario Police Officers retain Legal council to clarify constitutionality of Covid Measures

MPP Randy Hillier receives a ticket for hosting a peaceful anti-lockdown protest at Queen's Park in November.

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Agatha Farmer

A group of retired and active Ontario police officers have come together to form the group Police on Guard for Thee. They recently announced that they have officially retained Constitutional Lawyer Rocco Galati to bring to court their concerns such as; Are police officers supposed to uphold the Charter which they have taken an oath to protect? Or do Municipal By Laws now supersede the Constitution?

Rocco Galati and these active duty members have released the following official statement.

Several active police officers in Ontario, many of whom are members of the group Police on Guard for Thee, have retained the legal services of Rocco Galati, supported and backed by the Constitutional Rights Centre to bring a Court application in the Superior Court of Ontario, in order to clarify the constitutionality of the Covid measures they are being asked/directed to enforce as well as clarification on the scope of their authority, duty and discretion in their enforcement. They are concerned about the apparent Charter violations of this enforcement. In their words they are concerned because:

"Right now, people are scared. They come to police in the community that they know and trust asking what is happening. They see officers acting on the authority of these mandates and it makes them wonder if they have the right to go and see their loved ones, or will they be arrested? Charged? Fined?

Police take pride and honour in standing between criminals and the good public we serve. We desire to continue to protect our communities and the reputation and integrity of the police service we work for, including our respective commanding officers and associations. We do not wish to contravene direct orders given by our command, but we do not wish to be forced to follow unconstitutional orders. This puts us in an untenable position.

The fundamental human rights that are found in the Charter are being violated. We swore an oath to uphold the Charter, keep the peace, prevent offences and ensure public safety. Some officers are doing what they’re told without realizing that in doing so they are actually breaching the Charter which they swore to uphold in their oaths.

It is our job to not only protect the citizens, yet again, against these Charter violations, but also to remind all officers out on the road of what their oath actually states and means. Some of them have drifted away from the oath without realizing, due to pressure from supervisors and politicians. This has led to often extreme action by officers which has caused severe bodily harm, and even death, of otherwise good and law-abiding citizens they are supposed to protect.

That is why we are acting now. We cannot continue to go along with unethical, vague, overly-broad, arbitrary, draconian and unconstitutional practices and directives in law enforcement. Any violation of the oath that we took renders enforcement unlawful. Any violations of the Charter through enforcement is unacceptable. It has never been more important than right now for the police to stand on guard for thee. That is why we seek the clarification of our independent judiciary.”

Members of this group have also spoken out about the current curfew in Quebec.

"Curfews. For police officers, this word has typically only been seen on the bail papers of criminals released from custody, usually to protect law-abiding citizens from their crimes.

Curfews for everyday Canadians is something most officers would never dream of coming to a town or city near them, but here we are.

On January 9th to February 8th 2021, Quebec has mandated a province-wide curfew from 8PM-5AM, with limited exceptions. Fines for violating the curfew start at $1,000 plus $550 in additional fees, and can go as high as $6,000.

Again our governments institute another questionable public health order while the questions for their previous orders remain unanswered. We at Police on Guard for Thee believe this is gross violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that every law-abiding citizen in Canada is protected by.

We are demanding clarification from our courts on the lawfulness of these COVID-19 measures, and to our active members it is time to #RememberYourOath. This cannot come soon enough."

While these officers prepare legal action they could use your help.

Pledge your support to their cause, share this article and include "I stand with #PoliceOnGuard", and be sure to tag their page on Facebook - PoliceOnGuardForThee.

"Your pledge helps encourage active members and others to join in this cause. Together we will uphold our oath and charter rights," write members of the Police on Guard For Thee group.

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