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Hillier court date postponed due to backlog caused by COVID offences

Ontario MPP and anti-lockdown activist Randy Hillier denied day in court to challenge constitutionality of COVID-19 lockdown

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Ontario anti-lockdown activist Randy Hillier’s court date has been deferred due to a system-wide backlog created by a flood of COVID-19 restriction offences.

Hillier was charged on November 26 after holding an anti-lockdown rally at Queen’s Park in Toronto, in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act.

Hillier has repeatedly stated his purpose is to challenge the constitutionality of the Act, which appears to trample the assembly rights guaranteed Canadians under Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter).

“Back in November I received a ticket for hosting a peaceful assembly outside the Ontario Legislature. I was disappointed in the enforcement of such unconstitutional orders, but pleased I would finally have my day in court to challenge the law. (Thursday) I would be able to argue my case to end these overreaching and harmful #COVID-19 policies,” Hillier posted yesterday on social media.

“Well, that day has now passed and I remain in limbo with (sic) the Ontario court system. Due to the overload of tickets and legal actions around the COVID orders, the systemic disruptions they have created in our courts, my fight to end these overreaching orders is delayed to an undisclosed date,” he went on.

“I will get my court date, and I’m confident the orders will be defeated. I hope to have more information soon.”

Constitutional challenges of this nature are typically argued around Section I of the Charter, which guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it are subject only to such “reasonable limits” prescribed by law as can be “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

Hillier will likely have to prove that the provincial lockdown is not “reasonable” or “justified”.

Amidst the growing din of anti-lockdown voices around the world, and the increasing volume of scientific evidence showing that masks provide limited or no protection against infection, Hillier has support for his argument.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently urging world leaders to end lockdowns, due to the negative impact on physical and mental health, and the economic devastation caused by unemployment and bankruptcy.

In October, over 6,000 epidemiologists and scientists signed the Great Barrington Declaration also recommending an immediate end to lockdowns.

The Independent MPP from MPP Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston is being represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, who are specialists in litigation in support of right-wing causes.

If found guilty, he could face a fine between $10,000 to $100,000 and a year in jail.

Ken Grafton is the Western Standards Ottawa Bureau Chief. He can be reached at kgrafton@westernstandardonline.com

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Laurel L. Russwurm

    January 9, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Arguing that there is an “increasing volume of scientific evidence showing that masks provide limited or no protection against infection” based on a citation to an article that’s almost a decade old is problematic at best. The CDC’s ‘Scientific Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2‘ from November, 2020 tells a very different story, namely that “Use of masks and face coverings by the general public is an important mitigation strategy to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2. As the pandemic has progressed, evidence for the use of masks has strengthened.”
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/masking-science-sars-cov2.html

    Likewise, suggesting the WHO is “urging world leaders to end lockdowns” mischaracterizes the content of the article to which you link. Dr. David Nabarro states that the WHO doesn’t “advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” which, unfortunately, is what governments like Ontario’s have done. Failure to work with experts and citizens to plan and implement more effective and less disruptive pandemic policies has put our province in a position which Dr. Nabarro tells us a lockdown can be justified “to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted.“

    The Great Barrington Declaration is another political response to this global public health emergency, which is effectively rebutted by ‘The Great Barrington Declaration: When Arrogance Leads to Recklessness
    https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2020-11-06/when-scientists-arrogance-leads-to-recklessness-the-great-barrington-declaration

    Our governments should be following the example of places that have avoided lockdowns through effective public policies (like, for instance, universal mask adoption).

    We citizens need our politicians and media to put aside their partisan agendas during this pandemic for the good of us all.

  2. Warren Leigh

    January 9, 2021 at 11:33 am

    I wish MPP Hillier all the best in this fight even though I don’t live in Ontario anymore. I’ll be praying for him. Even the commie CCP run WHO is telling leaders to end the lockdowns. HELLO!! Time to move on!

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Third pastor arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID lockdowns

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon.

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A Calgary baptist preacher has become the third religious leader arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID-19 regulations over church attendance.

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon. He had been the subject of repeated warnings from Alberta Health Services for having too many people at his services.

Earlier this month, on the church’s website, Stephens vowed to contiue services.

“Our actions are borne out of theological commitments to the Lordship of Christ and his instruction to the church as revealed in Scripture,” wrote Stephens.

“This, above all, is the reason why we have been gathering and will continue to gather … the consequences may be severe. But we stand before Christ rather than bend before consequences.”

Pastor James Coates, of the GraceLife Church, outside Edmonton, spent a month in jail after he was arrested by the RCMP for breaking lockdown regulations repeatedly. His case is still before the courts.

Last week, Pastor Art Pawlowski was arrested in Calgary for continuing to flout the regulations at his street chruch.

Calgary police at the AHS issued a joint statement saying Stephens was “arrested this afternoon for organizing a church service that was held today at Fairview Baptist Church, located at 230 78 Ave. S.E., that did not comply with public health orders, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. Police did not enter the church during today’s service.

“CPS has received repeated calls from concerned citizens regarding church services held at Fairview Baptist Church over the past several weeks. Last weekend, Pastor Stephens was proactively served a copy of the Court of Queen’s Bench Order obtained by AHS,” the statement said.

“The pastor acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with today’s service, ignoring requirements for social distancing, mask-wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees.

“For several weeks, AHS has attempted to work collaboratively with leadership at Fairview Baptist Church to address the ongoing public health concerns at the site. It is only when significant risk is identified or continued non-compliance is noted that AHS resorts to enforcement action.

“Once again, CPS acknowledges it is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we are still in a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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LETTER: Hypocrisy in high school rodeo approval

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

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RE: Hinshaw grants approval for high school rodeos

Dr. Hinshaw approved school rodeos after Premier Kenney thought the rodeo near Bowden was a bad idea. It’s the mixed messaging these two are giving that is making me mad. A lockdown with very minimum exemptions is what I thought Hinshaw wanted, but apparently not. A school rodeo can bloody well wait until after the lockdown is completed!! Let up on the Whistle Stop Cafe then, Dr. Hinshaw. What a bully.

It’s a real kick by Hinshaw, at the Whistle Stop Cafe owner. With his cafe now in chains, while Dr. Hinshaw gives out approvals during this so-called circuit breaker lockdown.

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

Steven Ruthven
Calgary, AB

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Opposition calls for crackdown on animal activists

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

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By EMMA GREGORY

A coalition of federal Conservatives, NDP and Bloc MPs want to increase punishment for animal rights activists trespassing on farms, because they might make the animals sick.

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

Chief Veterinary Officer for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said there are no proven instances of an animal rights activists spreading a disease to animals while protesting at a farm.

“To our knowledge, there are not many documented cases from trespassing or from people having demonstrations. The one that I heard is the one in Quebec, but I’m not actually sure if there is evidence of transmission from the activists to the pigs. So in the scientific literature, we have not seen much evidence of transmission of disease from these activities,” said Dr. Jaspinder Komal, to the agriculture committee earlier this month.

The one instance Komal mentioned was an allegation made by Porgreg, a pig breeding facility in Saint Hyacinthe, Que.

The activists involved in that protest, members of the group Direct Action Everywhere, are charged under the Criminal Code with breaking and entering and mischief. Whether or not they gave pigs rotavirus is a matter before the court.

Rotaviruses are common amongst pig herds and typically are transmitted from pig to pig, via the fecal-oral route.

If a human were to spread a novel rotavirus to a pig it would be in a similar fashion.

When asked if she or any of her associates pooped in the barn, activist Jenny McQueen said, “No.”

Komal said the CFIA does not police activists.

“The CFIA enforces the Health of Animals Act and regulations which address disease and biological, chemical, physical agents that may affect animals or be transmitted to persons and in the same way to protect animals from these risks…CFIA inspectors are public officers they are not peace officers… In contrast, peace officers are generally police officers, their powers include the ability to detain or arrest individuals. Peace officers may also be armed where public officers such as inspectors are not,” he said.

There are several new provincial laws that seek to lay blame for disease outbreaks in farmed animals on activists.

The Canadian Biosecurity Guideline lists an intentional act of contaminating animals with a disease is considered a possible threat of bioterrorism.

Gregory is a Vancouver-based freelance reporter

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