Court documents reveal that the Canadian official responsible for the policy was not interested in the question of ethical requirements.
Jennifer Little was the director of Transport Canada’s COVID Recovery Team. She was responsible for the drafting of the mandated vaccine policy, which prevented millions of Canadians taking to the skies, trains, or some other marine vehicles.
Little was a witness in defense of the travel order that was being challenged at federal court.
Little was cross-examined on June 9, and asked whether she ever had an interview with someone in government who would consider whether or not a mandate is ethical.
“I don’t know of any specific study or conversation to this effect,” Little stated, adding that the Public Health Agency of Canada (“PHAC”) may have literature about the ethics of vaccine mandates .”
Little was pointed to a PHAC policy called “Public health ethics framework: A guide for use in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.”
When Little was asked if she’d consulted the book, she said no.
The PHAC policy does not mention vaccine mandates, but it states that trust and justice are the guiding principles and values. Other principles are also included, such as respecting human rights and minimising harm.
Although Little did not give ethical considerations for the mandate, she said that she sought legal counsel to determine if the policy would affect Charter rights.
Little and over 12 other witnesses were cross-examined by the attorney general in order to support the federal policy on mandatory vaccinations for transportation.
Four lawsuits are challenging the mandate the federal government suspended on June 20. The government wants to declare moot the legal action, even though it has not abrogated the mandate but suspended it.
In October 2013, the Liberal government placed mandates on transportation, public service and federally-regulated areas.
WHO Vaccine Mandates
In her case affidavit, Little stated that Transport Canada had “duly examined and, where necessary, taken action” under the direction of various organizations in order to take measures to safeguard the transport sector.
The listed domestic agencies are Health Canada (HC) and Public Health Agency of Canada(PHAC). While the International Organizations (WHO and ICAO) are listed, they can be accessed at
Little stated that on June 9, she did not receive a travel vaccine mandate recommendation from PHAC.
During her cross-examination on June 10, lawyer and applicant Nabil Belkacem also remarked that the vaccine mandate in travel is not supported by the WHO nor ICAO.
” Do we agree that your current position is in direct contradiction with the WHO?” Belkacem asked.
Little admitted that extracts from a WHO short presented by Belkacem “certainly indicate that [WHO] is not supportive of vaccine mandates .”
“But, to my knowledge we aren’t under any legal obligation to comply with guidelines of the World Health Organization,” said she.
The WHO policy brief “COVID-19 and mandatory vaccination: Ethical considerations” published on May 30 says the “WHO has issued a position statement that national authorities and conveyance operators should not require COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of international travel.”
The ICAO does not recommend mandatory vaccinations for travel.
“In view of the global unequal access to vaccines and the unsuitability or intolerance of use of vaccines by some individuals, vaccination should not be a prerequisite for international travel,” says the organization in a list of recommendations.
Another witness from the government was cross-examined regarding the ethical concerns surrounding the mandate for vaccines.
Dr. Eleni Galanis, the director general at the Centre for Integrated Risk Assessment within PHAC (CIRA), is part of an advisory team that meets every week with Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer.
Galanis said on June 23 that the ethics of proposed public health measures are discussed within the group, but there is no particular individual with a special background such as a lawyer or medical ethicist.
” The balance between individual rights, and the need for protection of the health of people, the greater good is often touched upon in discussions about… implementation of public-health measures,” she stated.
Galanis stated that mandatory travel vaccination was discussed, but not actually addressed during discussions with Dr. Tam.
“Has your mother ever instructed you, or any other member of the group, to seek out supporting evidence in support for the… vaccine mandate?” Sam Presvelos asked Sam Presvelos who represented applicants Shaun Rickard and Karl Harrison.
” No, not since the last time I was there,” stated Galanis. Galanis said, “I don’t go every week but I do attend December. I remember this not being discussed .”
Noe chartier is an Epoch Times reporter, based in Montreal.