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Bonnie Henry named as defendant in class-action lawsuit over her role in COVID-19 vaccine mandate

A group representing unionized public service workers has announced a class-action lawsuit against the BC government over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Representative plaintiff Jason Baldwin, who was fired by the Ministry of Finance due to the mandate, launched the suit today on behalf of affected BC Public Service workers.

As well as the provincial government, the suit lists Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry as a defendant.

The suit demands general damages for misfeasance in public office, aggravated damages and punitive damages.

It has been backed by the non-profit BCPS Employees for Freedom Society (BCPSEF), which describes itself as a “diverse group of public servants who stand together for medical privacy and bodily autonomy.”

<who> Photo credit: NowMedia/Colin Smith

Discussing the suit today, BCPSEF said the Province and Dr. Henry introduced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees in November 2021 that “was contrary to public service employees’ Charter rights.”

That mandate violated the “medical privacy and bodily autonomy of 38,000 BC public servants with its coercive and unjustifiable proof of COVID-19 vaccination mandate,” the group added.

BCPSEF said the requirement for workers to be vaccinated led to “untold suffering and harm to public servants and public services.”

The suit claims Dr. Henry committed misfeasance because she had “no basis in fact to justify the information, data and advice she provided and upon which the Province relied to develop its employee vaccination policy.”

It also accuses her of “wilfully or recklessly ignor[ing] known potential risks of adverse events associated with the COVID-19 vaccination in providing advice to the Province.”

The lawsuit further claims that employees’ rights to freedom of association were violated by the Province and that “forced disclosure of private medical information violated common law and statutory privacy rights.”

Baldwin has retained the services of Umar Sheikh from Sheikh Law in Victoria.

The notice of civil claim can be read here.

The court must now determine if the suit meets the requirements for a class action.

If that determination is made, it will be certified as a class-action suit and can proceed.

Last month, a separate suit, also listing Dr. Henry and the Province as defendants, was filed by two plaintiffs representing fired healthcare workers.

Health professionals in the province are still required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to work, a policy BC United leader Kevin Falcon said is part of a “crusade” by the NDP government.

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