It’s not just civil liberties. Many other charter rights have been violated in COVID-19 pandemic

All these possible violations of constitutional rights would be perfectly legal if they can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. But can they? The first fundamental freedom to be violated in a pandemic is, obviously, freedom of assembly. But it is not the only freedom Canadian governments have curtailed lately. Consider the cherry blossoms in Toronto’s High Park. The annual festival to look at their fleeting colour is an instance of a civil liberty — both “civil,” from the Latin for citizen, meaning for everyone in society, and a “liberty,” from the Latin for freedom, because you can just walk on by, any time of day you like.


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