When the COVID-19 pandemic came into place, the municipalities and the federal government went ahead to exercise some legal authority as they responded to the pandemic. Some constitutional issues came about in the process, and some of these challenges had to be addressed in a court of law.
The social distancing guidelines brought about some controversy in that the freedom of association was being infringed. Other issues that came about include contact tracing through cellphone data, domestic violence, how resources are being allocated in hospitals, among other issues.
The municipalities and provinces have put in place different measures that have forced government offices and non-essential businesses to close down. As per the media, these measures are known as “lockdowns” while referring to the constitution.
We can carry out a comparison between Canada and the U.S. The primary reference will be between Ontario and California.
In California, people were advised to stay at home except for the essential service providers. People were allowed to leave their houses to acquire food and other essential services such as healthcare. When outside the house, people were supposed to adhere to social distancing.
In Ontario, Canada, the health boards are in charge of public health. The health boards came up with an order that people are supposed to self-isolate at their homes for 14 days if they have symptoms similar to those of COVID-19. People in Toronto were directed to stay at home unless they needed to get out and acquire necessities such as medicine and food. The only issue is that some of these directives were not backed by the constitution.
Since Sujit Choudhry is an expert in constitutional affairs, he has weighed in on the matter, and it is evident that the Canadian constitution needs to be amended. As a professional well versed with the Canadian constitution, Sujit Choudhry can assist in the amendment process, considering he has also appeared at the Canadian Supreme Court while offering legal counsel.