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BC judge rules COVID vaccinations a private matter

The significant ruling comes as the Trudeau government is considering whether or not to makes vaccines mandatory for public service workers.

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Lawyers are not allowed to ask potential jurors if they have received their COVID-19 vaccinations, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge has ruled.

Blacklock’s Reporter says the significant ruling comes as the Trudeau government is considering whether or not to makes vaccines mandatory for public service workers.

Justice Geoffrey Gomery, overseeing a criminal trial in Powell River, B.C., dismissed a request from Crown prosecutors to ask jury members if they’d received their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Gomery refused, calling it “private and personal.”

“Panelists might well have reasons to wish not to discuss their vaccination status in public in the intimidating environment of a courtroom,” wrote Gomery.

“Some might be intimidated by the question itself.”

Gomery noted from the outset of the pandemic, courts have taken precautions including social distancing, installation of plastic dividers and have resorted to teleconferences for routine hearings.

“Until quite recently it could be assumed most jurors were unvaccinated,” said Gomery, adding he was unaware of a single COVID-19 outbreak “that has been traced to the conduct of a criminal or civil trial.

“The risk to jurors, if some of them are unvaccinated, is very low. If panelists had expressed concerns about COVID exposure I would have excused them in any event.”

No federal agency to date has made vaccination mandatory but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on August 5 he would seek a review on whether to force 1.2 million federally regulated employees to show proof of vaccination.

Conservative MP David Yurdiga (Fort McMurray-Cold Lake, Alta.) on Tuesday called compulsory vaccination dangerous over-reach.

“Mandating the vaccine as a requirement to work would be the beginning of a slippery slope,” Yurdiga said in a statement.

“It is our job to stand up against this tyrannical idea that forces discrimination based on what Canadians choose to do with their bodies.”

The MP called it “severe government overreach.”

Mandating disclosure of personal medical information to access public services is a breach of the federal Privacy Act, according to a May 19 statement by Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien.

“It’s an encroachment on civil liberties,” said Therrien.

The Library of Parliament in an August 3 report to legislators said compulsory shots posed “challenges related to privacy, security and access,” and reflected a level of government surveillance that “diminishes the level of freedom one expects in a democracy.”

More than six million Canadians eligible for COVID-19 shots have declined to date.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his Ontario counterpart, Doug Ford, have said they will not bring in vaccine passports into their provinces.

On Tuesday, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce said it will lobby Kenney to launch a passport so business owners could protect themselves.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Bryan

    August 13, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    The BC Legal (NOT Justice) System is like a broken clock. A broken clock is correct twice a day. The BC Legal System is correct the odd time. This Was that time.

  2. Kat C

    August 13, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    Our rights and freedoms of choice is being stripped away from Canadian citizens. Trudeau is turning canada into a communist country. Is everyone going to stand by and watch this happen? We need a leader to fight for our rights and we need followers to help him succeed, voting for Trudeau again is a huge mistake, he is very much like his father Pierre Trudeau. This coming election is very dangerous to Canada.

  3. Steven

    August 12, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    Folks you have to keep in mindset & attitude of Prime Minister Trudeau is socialist/communist. The will of the State is what’s important to Commie Trudeau. Not your rights & freedoms!!

    This unnecessary coming election is very dangerous for Alberta; especially with Premier Kenney leading us. I think Jason Kenney is taking his lead from the Eastern CPC & O’Toole. While Alberta waits for the other shot to the head of our economy by a corrupt Liberal Government. Frustrating as hell !!

  4. K

    August 12, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Pittance. What about absolutely everything else?

  5. j n

    August 12, 2021 at 10:59 am

    Is it funny how you cant ask the jury members about their vaxx status but the government is going to enforce the same thing just outside of the court setting?!?!?!Oh the irony

  6. Carolyn Stroud

    August 12, 2021 at 10:26 am

    I will never support a government that takes away our human rights & censors honest hard working Intelligent educated men & woman who have the right to put questions & give well founded answers to how we could fight this pandemic before we are coerced to have an untested genetic material into our bodies .. killing huge numbers that had a 99.7% chance of surviving if they had taken measures prior to boost their immune system . Censorship & Coercion & fear mongering from the media & with this government is deplorable & they have lost my vote ..It saddens me for I trusted this government to respect citizens rights of choice for we are supposed to be a democratic country.I need to vote in a government that will hold to that ground & @ present the Liberal government will not be my choice come this September election . God help us ! We want FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY RETURNED!!

  7. Andrew Red Deer

    August 11, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    Mr Yurdiga, we are already far down the slippery slope, and because you did not resign from from your seat, or express your disdain for all the fake COVID policies over the last 20 months you are complicit in it.

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Chu wants meeting with Gondek ‘to tell the truth’

Mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek told a city hall press conference she will not swear Chu in, when council meets for the first time on Monday.

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Embattled Calgary Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu wants to sit down with incoming mayor Jyoti Gondek to plead his case about a sexual incident 24 years ago.

Gondek said Thursday she will refuse to swear in Chu during the first council meeting on Monday.

“I want her to hear the whole truth. I will provide that to her,” Chu told reporters at a press conference.

Chu also offered to sit down with other incoming council members — most of whom are calling for him resign — to explain his side of the story.

“I always work with anybody but they have only heard media reports … some of which has been untruthful,” said Chu.

“I will sit down in private with them and answer any question they have.”

He added he thought it would be a judge who does the swearing-in.

“I was duly elected by the people of Ward 4. I told the truth,” he said, adding was surprised at the amount of support he has received from Ward 4 voters in e-mails and letters.

Chu said this would be his last election as he was a proponent of term limits for councillors at three terms.

“The Sean Chu situation continues to get more disturbing,” Gondek said prior to the press conference.

“This is a travesty for the young woman that was courageous enough to come forward … she needs to have this taken seriously, and he needs to resign in order for that to happen.

“[Chu] can absolutely show up. He won’t be sworn in by me.”

In his only interview so far, Chu had told the Western Standard on Tuesday he had no intention of resigning, but did apologize to a woman he had a sexual encounter with 24 years ago.

Since then, pressure has mounted with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Gondek, most of the incoming council, and even local Conservative MPs all saying Chu should resign.

At the press conference, Chu apologized to the woman who was involved in the original incident and his family.

“My daughter is crying a lot. My children are going through a lot,” Chu said, asking for his family’s privacy.

“I’ve had CTV camping out at my house.”

Chu confirmed other details he told the Western Standard during the exclusive interview on Tuesday.

City of Calgary officials confirmed Chu won the election race in Ward 4 by a mere 52 votes after allegations surfaced last week of his involvement in August of 1997 with a girl who was just 16 at the time.

“This was nothing but a political assassination,” said Chu.

Chu, who has represented Ward 4 since 2013, also fired back at some media reports which he claims were completely wrong.

Chu, then a serving Calgary Police Services officer, said he met the unidentified girl at a pub near Macleod Tr. and 94 Ave.

At some point in their interaction, Chu caressed the girl’s leg, an incident that later earned him a letter of reprimand on his file.

Chu said the girl seemed interested in him so when he was off duty he changed into civilian clothes and went back to the pub to meet the girl.

The evening continued with Chu and the girl eventually heading to his home.

Chu “categorically” denied media reports that a gun was produced during the evening at his home. He said he checked his service weapon in at the police’s traffic office when he signed off duty.

He said at the home, the two had consensual foreplay before she asked to go home.

Chu also addressed a 2008 fight with his wife that ended with police responding and seizing a firearm.

The incident happened in February 2008, when Chu was running in a provincial election for the Progressive Conservatives in Calgary-Buffalo.

He said his wife ran to a neighbour’s after a verbal argument. Chu said his now ex-wife never intended to call police, but the neighbour did.

After consultation with the Edmonton Crown, no charges were laid.

“This was at the lowest point of my life,” Chu said, adding he sought mental health help after it.

“I have never threatened or harmed my wife or children.”

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013.

During the investigation, Chu underwent a lengthy lie detector test asking him questions about consent and if a weapon was used. Chu said he passed all the tests.

Premier Jason Kenney described the allegations as “appalling,” but said he didn’t think there was any way for the province to remove a councillor who hasn’t been convicted under the Criminal Code.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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WATCH: Vancouver restaurant served closure order for non-compliance with ‘Public Health Act’

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the closure order.

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Another BC restaurant has been ordered to close its doors in the name of public health.

“I’m a mother of four,” restaurant owner Rebecca Matthews pleaded with health officials and police.

Corduroy Restaurant — nestled in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood — has been offering service to customers without checking their vaccination status against COVID-19.

Under the BC Vaccine Card, people are required to show proof-of-vaccination against COVID-19 in order to access a variety of settings, such as dining.

In response to Corduroy having potentially committed the crime of serving unvaccinated customers, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) sent environmental health officer Ryan Hammel — accompanied by Vancouver police — bearing a closure order for non-compliance on Wednesday.

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the order, whilst listing off several more “health hazards,” such as “failing to comply with the Face Coverings Order.”

The closure order — signed by VCH medical officer, Dr. Michael Schwandt — says the establishment must remain closed until authorized by a medical officer.

Matthews told the Western Standard health officials showed up at her restaurant on Tuesday morning to “investigate some complaints.”

On Wednesday, Hammel served the closure order.

WATCH: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVQ1f8nhN2m/

“They wouldn’t even discuss anything with me,” said Matthews.

“We reduced our hours, we started doing counter service … these are all things that are — according to the provincial health orders — considered safe.”

Matthews said she’s looking into the closure order to determine how best to proceed.

“I have a family, but at the same time we still want to create a space for people that don’t have anywhere else to go … so we’re just trying to navigate the next steps in the best way for everybody, including my family. Our plan is not to just go away,” she said.

Wednesday is not the first time Corduroy has taken a hit for defying provincial health orders, as its license was suspended six months ago for offering in-person dining, when no such thing was permitted.

During a September 20 staff forum, the Chief Medical Health Officer of VCH, Dr. Patricia Daly, said vaccine passports in settings such as Corduroy’s are not intended to prevent transmission.

“The vaccine passport requires certain people to be vaccinated to do certain discretionary activities such as go to restaurants, movies, gyms … not because these places are high risk,” said Daly.

“We’re not actually seeing COVID transmission in these settings, it’s really to create an incentive to improve our vaccination coverage.”

A Go Fund Me has been set up for Matthew’s by a verified third party to cover legal fees so Corduroy can “continue to stand up for the rights of their patrons, their medical privacy and choice.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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Gondek appoints controversial Carter as chief of staff

He received $130,000 in severance for his six months as chief of staff for Alison Redford.

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Incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek has appointed Stephen Carter, formerly Premier Alison Redford’s chief of staff and Naheed Nenshi campaign manager, as her own chief of staff.

Carter masterminded Gondek’s campaign and saw her come from well back in early election polls to an eventual easy victory over rival Jeromy Farkas.

Carter in February also threatened to sue the Western Standard when it published a story about a former Calgary city councillor filing an official complaint with Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer alleging Gondek used third-party funds to pay for a city-wide brochure mail-drop.

Almost immediately after publishing, Carter threatened Western Standard News Editor Dave Naylor with a lawsuit. He tweeted:

“That was quick: Ok. You will be getting a letter from our lawyer shortly. Straight to Jono? Does he defend you as well?”

We told Carter that any further correspondence should be directed to our lawyers. 

He then took to Twitter to brag about his impending lawsuit to shut the Western Standard up. 

Carter never followed through on his threats.

Carter was once famously referred to as “Chief of Stiff” by the Calgary Sun after he become embroiled in a scandal where he didn’t pay his bills.

The Sun reported a company owned by Carter, Carter McRae Events, “owes more than $600,000, most of it to the University of Calgary, and hasn’t coughed up a cent in court-ordered judgments.”

He resigned from Redford’s staff and received $130,000 in severance for his six months work.

Stephen Carter (photo credit: Calgary Sun)

“If that’s the full amount, that’s still pretty eye-popping,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith at the time.

“A six-figure severance for six months worth of work? An employee who voluntarily leaves should not get severance at all. This certainly doesn’t happen in the private sector.”

Carter, who had been Redford’s strategist in the 2011 Tory leadership race, became her chief of staff when she took office in October of that year.

He was also the mastermind behind Nenshi’s unexpected election victory 11 years ago.

Gondek also announced Amie Blanchette as deputy chief of staff, Catherine Seymour as operations manager and Allison Bates as communications advisor.

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