Laws and Information Relevant to Ontario Mask Exemptions

The Ontario Human Rights Code includes disability and creed on its list of protected grounds.

The Ontario mask mandate states that proof of medical exemption is not required, and that anyone exempt as per the OHRC is not required to wear a mask.

The Trespass to Property Act states that trespass applies to “Every person who is not acting under a right or authority conferred by law.” The right to be served equally without discrimination for disability or creed is assured by the OHRC, thus when mask-exempt people shop as normal, they are doing so under a right conferred by law, and the Trespass to Property Act does not apply.

“Anapanasati is the meditation system expressly taught by the Buddha in which mindful breathing is used to develop both samadhi (a serene and concentrated mind) and vipassana.” Masking inhibits the free-flowing breath. This is a valid basis of creed exemption.

The Police Services Act states, “Police services shall be provided throughout Ontario in accordance with the following principles: 2. The importance of safeguarding the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Code.”

Section seven of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees security of the person. “Security of the person includes a person’s right to control his/her own bodily integrity. It will be engaged where the state interferes with personal autonomy and a person’s ability to control his or her own physical or psychological integrity, for example by prohibiting assisted suicide or regulating abortion or imposing unwanted medical treatment.”

Ontario’s Health Care Consent Act defines “treatment” as “anything that is done for a therapeutic, preventive, palliative, diagnostic, cosmetic or other health-related purpose, and includes a course of treatment, plan of treatment or community treatment plan. It states, “No treatment without consent,” and, “3. The consent must be given voluntarily.” By the definitions of this Act, masking is treatment because its purpose is to prevent a medical condition. All Ontarians have the right to decline covid masking because it is a medical treatment.

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