Court of King’s Bench of Alberta - Citation: Ingram v Alberta (Chief Medical Officer of Health), 2023 ABKB 453 Date:
31 July 2023
Section 29(2) reads: (2) Where the investigation confirms the presence of a communicable disease, the medical officer of health (a) shall carry out the measures that the medical officer of health is required by this Act and the regulations to carry out, and (b) may do any or all of the following: (i) take whatever steps the medical officer of health considers necessary (A) to suppress the disease. [...] Applying a broad and purposive interpretation to both the Public Health Act and the Order and starting with the presumption that the Order is valid, the Order was unreasonable because it was the implementation of [a cabinet committee’s] judgment and decision, and not that of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. [...] The original application referred to section 29 of the Public Health Act in the context of whether the impugned Business Closure Restrictions infringed rights under the Alberta Bill of Rights, but the proposed new amendment would state in effect that the impugned Orders are ultra vires section 29 of the Public Health Act. [...]  To be clear, however, I have made decisions on the constitutionality of the impugned Orders on the basis of the specific impugned Orders, and on the basis of the evidence led by the parties before me, and not on the basis of any evidence led in the other cases. [...] An intervener in the appeal submitted that cumulative breaches of the Charter should be considered in the constitutional analysis, and that the principle of constitutional pluralism should form part of the section 1 analysis,  Manitoba submitted that the appeal was moot, but the Court found that an adversarial context continues to exist, and the parties had fully argued the constitutional issu.