By: Sherry Darvish – Head Coach and Bayview Glen Parent
On March 10, 2021, the aspiring lawyers in Bayview Glen’s Law Club participated in the Ontario Justice Education Network’s (OJEN) Twitter Moot competition. The OJEN Twitter Moot competition is an online debate. High school students from across the province of Ontario participate in the online discussion by tweeting their opinions on a thought-provoking question with a myriad of legal implications. This competition offers students a fun opportunity to learn about important and contentious legal issues facing our society. The topic this time was about mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, a topic that we have all probably thought or read about as we navigate these challenging pandemic times.
Students in the competition were asked to provide comments on the following question:
Would a law that made COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for all Canadians infringe the rights set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? If so, would that infringement be justified under section 1 of the Charter?
The question is not an easy one to answer as it raises many legal and policy issues intersecting health care, race, division of powers, and constitutional matters to name a few. However, this challenge did not stop the students in the BVG Law Club from providing intelligent and thoughtful comments to the question. Many of their comments earned them re-tweets such as the following:
“Even though the Supreme Court of Canada has never before upheld a violation of section 7 using the Oakes test, the Court has claimed that “natural disasters, the outbreak of war, epidemics, and the like are instances where such a violation may be acceptable”.
At the end of a debate filled day, the BVG Law Club took home one of the coveted OJEN awards for providing the most engaging discussion. Congratulations to all the BVG law club students on their achievement. To read more tweets from the day please visit @BVG_LawClub on Twitter.