TDF’s legal team fights against U of T’s discriminatory booster mandate

TDF lawyers represent a group of parents and students concerned about U of T’s booster requirement to live in residence.

Toronto: The Democracy Fund (TDF) legal team is representing a group of students and their parents who are opposed to the University’s recently announced booster mandate that will be implemented for all students living in residence this fall.

The reinstatement of the primary series COVID-19 vaccine requirement, plus at least one booster dose prior to moving into residence, was announced on July 28, 2022, despite the lack of  a public health recommendation for the university to do so. Mandating a booster shot comes with a number of legal ramifications and rights violations outlined by TDF Senior Litigator, Mark Joseph.

"The right to bodily autonomy, medical privacy and equal treatment under the law are fundamental rights in our democracy,” said Joseph. “These rights aren't surrendered simply by implementation of governmental or university policy. Forcing incoming residence students to take a COVID-19 booster arguably violates these rights."

Ontario lifted its proof of vaccination requirement on March 1, 2022, and the majority of universities later followed this by either dropping or pausing their vaccine requirements including U of T on May 1, 2022. Currently, U of T is the only post-secondary institution in Canada that has implemented the requirement for a booster shot.

The University’s booster mandate has put undue strain on students living in residence by announcing a booster mandate so late in the summer with only a month left to seek alternative off-campus housing in an area where housing options are limited. Many students have already paid U of T their tuition fees, which puts them in an unfair position and increases their financial burden.

TDF has proposed a number of possible resolutions that would respect the rights of the unboosted students in residence including rescinding the booster mandate, recognizing natural immunity, offering rapid-testing and providing a separate facility for quarantining when necessary.

"It is important for Canadians to resist the forfeiture of their fundamental rights and freedoms because the price paid to secure them was so high," said Joseph.

In response to U of T's booster mandate, TDF lawyers sent a letter expressing their concerns to the university. Click here read the letter.

To help in the fight against unconstitutional mandates, laws and government overreach, you can make a donation to support TDF.

About The Democracy Fund:

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.