Before I begin, I will note that all the restrictive pandemic measures implemented by the Ontario government – and this seems to be true both federally and provincially across the country – have been imposed autocratically by the Premier without consulting elected representatives in the legislature. Further, the measures are created by non-elected health authorities and lobbyists and submitted to the Premier to rubber stamp. The authority, such as it is, for this kind of government control seems to be blanket emergency legislation that sidelines the provincial parliament.

The normal process of creating, reviewing and passing legislation in the parliaments and legislatures of the world takes, as a minimum, many days and can take months to complete. Emergency acts are designed to bypass the democratic process for a quick autocratic response to aa situation. There has been considerable criticism that this type of governance has been used extensively, excessively, wrongly, and unnecessarily over the last two years.

After examining the implementation of such power in Ontario, we will examine a proposed amendment to the International Health Regulations[4] that will extend such control to the UN through the World Health Organization (WHO).

Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, RSO 1990, c E.9[1]

In this section we will examine the key features of this act. Section 1 of the act defines “emergency” as

a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise;

As we see, the act is intended to mitigate “a danger of major proportions“. The responsibility of administering or implementing orders under the act is assigned to the Solicitor General. However, the declaration of an emergency and an emergency order can only be issued by two individuals. Section 7.0.1 (1) states that “the Lieutenant Governor in Council [LGIC} or the Premier, if in the Premier’s opinion the urgency of the situation requires that an order be made“. In other words, he simply takes an opinion of the Premier.

Some key points:

  • 7.0.1 (3) again requires only an opinion to issue an order satisfying the condition that there is “an emergency that requires immediate action …” and insufficient resources may not be immediately available.
  • 7.0.2 (2) allows that “the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make orders that the Lieutenant Governor in Council believes are necessary and essential“. Again note the appeal to “belief” as with “opinion” above. No evidence is required.
  • 7.0.2 (3) limits application of an order to areas of the province and for a duration only “as long as necessary” without defining in any way as to how to determine necessity.
  • 7.0.2 (4) is interesting in that it specifies many actions that may be ordered but by the LGIC alone and not the Premier. These include:
    1. regulating or prohibiting travel or movement to, from or within any specified area.
    2. evacuating individuals and animals and removing personal property from any specified area …
    3. closing any place, whether public or private …
    4. fixing prices for necessary goods, services and resources …
    5. requiring that any person collect, use or disclose information that in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council may be necessary … Again the appeal to “opinion”.
    6. taking such other actions or implementing such other measures as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary in order to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of the emergency. Note this is entirely open ended.
  • 7.0.2 (7 ) restricts the use of data collected to the context of the emergency but 7.0.2 (8) allows such data to be used for “research” purposes if it is anonymized.
  • 7.0.3 (1) allows the Premier to “exercise any power or perform any duty conferred upon a minister of the Crown or an employee of the Crown by or under an Act of the Legislature”. In other words he can do anything within the law.
  • 7.0.3 (2) allows the Premier to overrule any municipal council.
  • 7.0.5 provides penalty for “the contravention by any person of an order” by means of a restraining order of a judge of the Superior Court of Justice. 7.0.11 (2) allows that a “person is guilty of a separate offence on each day that an offence under subsection (1) occurs or continues“. 7.0.11 (1) allows “a fine of not more than $100,000 and for a term of imprisonment of not more than one year”.
  • 7.0.7 (1) limits an order to 14 days but 7.0.7 (2) allows the LGIC to extend it another 14 days and 7.0.7 (3) allows the legislature to extend it a further 28 days. However, 7.1 (4) allows the LGIC to issue an order suspending any other legislative order for 90 days with one 90 day renewal of suspension and the provision for issuing a new 90 day order thereafter, ad infinitum.
  • 11 exempts officials from prosecution for actions taken under the order but the Crown is not exempted.

Discussion

Key take-away points are:

  1. Under the act the Premier makes all decisions, the LGIC effectively being only a rubber stamp.
  2. In several areas, decisions are made as a matter of opinion or belief rather than documented scientific evidence.
  3. Section 7.0.2 (4) lists some quite draconian actions that may be implemented but leaves the option open to whatever the Premier decides. I assume it is an oversight that the premier is not specified, only the LGIC.
  4. I found the time frame limitations confusing but appear to allow the indefinite extension of measures if the Premier has a majority in the legislature.

Since much is left to “opinion” unelected officials are given immense power as advisors to the Premier. The powers under the Health Act need to be examined separatelu.

WHO Proposal for amendments to the International Health Regulation[2]

The act or regulation that is discussed below constitutes a treaty binding signatories to specific actions that supersede nationally legislated actions of the same kind.

The Director-General (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO), in the document cited in the above heading, presents a set of regulatory changes to the International Health Regulations (2005). The text of the proposed amendments were submitted by “the United States of America pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article 55 of the IHR (2005)“.
The changes are listed under a series of articles as discussed below starting on page 4 of the document.

  • Article 5. This article strengths disease surveillance independently of state actors.
  • Article 6. A signatory is required to assess events occurring within its territory within 48 hours.
  • Article 9. The requirement on the WHO to consult with and/or receive verification of an even within a signatory’s territory before acting is removed. This is disturbing.
  • Article 10. This article extends an offer of collaborative assistance to state actors and may request verification (24 hrs) without consulting the state. Further, “failure by the State Party to accept the offer of collaboration shall constitute rejection for the purposes of sharing available information with States Parties“. The WHO shall (they remove “may”) then share whtever infprmation they have with other cooperating signatories without consulting the refusing party.”.
  • Article 11. Has been modified to allow the WHO at its own discretion, to inform all parties including state and non-state actors, of information about events in the non-requesting state without consulting the non-requesting state.
  • Article 48. An Emergency Committee (EC) is set up of members selected solely by the DG “with due regard to the principles of equitable age, gender, and geographical representation”. How very woke.
  • Article 49. Expands the actions and information used by the EC from the affected state alone to all member states.
  • Article 12. This amended article gives the DG the right alone to declare an emergency on the recommendation of the EC, having removed the existing consultative process with states.
  • Article 13. A number of circumstances are presented that involve an affected state actor to which the WHO “shall” offer without consultation, assistance and if the affected state refuses, it must give reasons why which are then broadly shared.
  • Article 53. Creates a new “Compliance Committee” (CC) relating to compliance with obligations under these Regulations. The CC can seek the “services of experts and advisers, including representatives of NGOs or members of the public“.
  • Article 59. This article provides the time-frame for adopting these amendments by signatories. After a specified time, no rejection or reservation will be allowed. The changes conclude with this most significant consideration: “If a State is not able to adjust its domestic legislative and administrative arrangements fully” within the period, it has only another 12 months to do so.

Discussion

Key take-away points are:

  1. These changes have come solely from the United States.
  2. All time frames for any response have been shortened to 24 or 48 hours. This is wholly inadequate for making and taking informed action.
  3. In many places, the requirement of consultation with affected states has been removed.
  4. An”Emergency Committee” with considerable power and influence has been placed under the control of the DG
  5. A new “Compliance Committee” has been created. Non-compliance by a state is brought to everyone’s attention but no enforcement mechanism apparently exists at this time.
  6. The last article indicates that the signatory states must adjust their national legislation to mirror the WHO regulations. This is the key aspect of these amendments.

The UN has no enforcement mechanism in place yet, but this initiative cleanly is another area where the UN is demanding that a member state cede sovereign control to a global government under the UN. This is similar to treaties covering climate and migration which already exist.

The path to global totalitarianism is this: the DG of WHO has the sole power to declare a health emergency either globally or in a member state. The state’s emergency legislation then preempts all other legislation in force in the state and the state authority can then institute any measure that the WHO determines.

References

  1. Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, RSO 1990, c E.9. Gov. ON. As of May 18, 2022.
  2. Proposal for amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005). WHO. As of May 18, 2022. PDF.
  3. Thompson JM. Biden Admin. To Hand Over U.S. Sovereignty To The WHO On May 22nd, Granting Them Authority To Lockdown All Of America And Other Nations A short discussion.
  4. International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR). WHO. PDF.

Links to Articles of Note

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The POOG

I started a blog in 2011 called The POOG, an acronym for "pissed off old guy". This is the current incarnation.

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