The Canadian Constitution Foundation has filed an application with Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice along with five individuals, seeking an end to the policy. The application names the Attorney General of Canada as the defendant.
A government order that went into effect on Feb. 14 mandates that anyone entering Canada from abroad must stay in a federally approved hotel for the first three nights of a 14-day quarantine.
“The biggest issue is that we have a fundamental right to enter Canada and this is a limit on that right and it’s not a justified limit,” said Christine Van Geyn, litigation director for the CCF. “There are so many alternatives that would be less infringing on rights.”
Travellers are expected to pay for their government-approved accommodations, which can cost hundreds of dollars per night. They may leave the hotels once a COVID-19 test taken at their point of entry comes back negative.
The Canadian Constitution Foundation argues in its legal application that hotel quarantine requirements are “overbroad, arbitrary and grossly disproportionate.”
The applicants are seeking an injunction to suspend the order, but are also asking to have the law struck down for infringing upon the constitutional rights of liberty, freedom from unreasonable detention, and the right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.
The CCF argues that the hotel policy detains people without COVID-19 symptoms who would be able to safely quarantine outside of government-approved accommodation at minimal or no expense.