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Human rights tribunal: Maskless shoppers’ rights not violated

“The policy was introduced in good faith.”—Michael Gottheil, adjudicator with the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal.

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Businesses are well within their rights in preventing maskless shoppers from visiting retail stores, a human rights tribunal ruled.

An Edmonton adjudicator dismissed two separate complaints by shoppers who claimed in-store mask rules were a breach of the Human Rights Act, including one who was escorted from a Costco outlet by police, as first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.

James Beaudin, of Edmonton, complained he was denied entry to a Peoples Jewellers store last October 9 after he refused to put on a mask for medical reasons. “Staff was firm and the complainant was told to leave,” the Tribunal noted.

“This was definitely discrimination against a person suffering from medical disability as stated in our Charter Of Rights And Freedoms of Canada!” Beaudin wrote the Tribunal.

However lawyers for Peoples Jewellers replied even store employees were required to be masked at all times as a pandemic precaution, and that maskless customers were offered alternatives including telephone shopping and free home delivery.

“The policy was introduced in good faith,” wrote Michael Gottheil, adjudicator with the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal.

“The question is whether the policy was introduced for a valid and legitimate business purpose, was introduced in good faith and there were no alternatives available to accommodate those negatively affected without incurring undue hardship,” wrote Gottheil. The mask policy “was introduced in good faith,” he said.

In a separate case, Peter Szeles, also of Edmonton, complained he was barred from browsing in a Costco Wholesale outlet without a mask last November 17. Costco lawyers submitted evidence that Szeles had published social media posts that “purport to suggest the Covid-19 pandemic is a hoax and a conspiracy, and that public health measures are an unwarranted infringement on civil liberties,” said the Tribunal.

In the Costco case, employees offered maskless customers free use of a face shield. Szeles declined. “An altercation ensued, the police were called and Szeles was removed from the store,” the Tribunal was told.

Szeles argued the offer of a face shield was humiliating since it would “single him out as a person with a disability,” and that there was no medical evidence face shields were effective in preventing infection.

“The Human Rights Act and human rights jurisprudence accept that limitations to the right to be free from discrimination may be justified where the limitation or rule is instituted for valid reasons, and is instituted in the good faith belief that it is necessary,” wrote the Tribunal.

Western Standard staff

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Donald KEVIN Lafayette

    September 1, 2021 at 10:28 am

    If anyone ever had any doubt, about what Trudeau’s Manchurian Charter was meant to accomplish?

    Anyone talking about “protecting charter rights” on the election trail? In the words of Kirk Lazarus (‘Tropic Thunder’) — “Everybody knows you never go full retard”.

  2. Wesley

    September 1, 2021 at 9:40 am

    Human Rights courts have an extreme left wing bias. I wouldn’t expect anything different from them. Ezra Levant wrote a book on Canadian Human Rights courts that exposes them for what they really are.

  3. Claudette Leece

    September 1, 2021 at 7:29 am

    Guess courts and judges just exist now to do the governments bidding

  4. Liz

    August 31, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    The mask policy was not done in good faith. True science shows over and over that no one in the world can isolate this virus and CDC even admits they can’t find it and what is being termed COVID-19 is nothing but a cluster of symptoms which can be more accurately traced to “chemical and radiation poisoning”–Graphene Oxide poisoning. This Graphene Oxide is in the masks, swab tests, and the jabs. Even Health Canada put out a press release that certain brands of masks contained Graphene Oxide ( why was this not headline news) but then a week later put out a statement that there was not enough GO to cause harm so left it it. What! But of course this science is not part of the Covid narrative. Let’s just suppress this information and hundreds of scientic data to prove masks are actually dangerous to our health and does nothing for anyone else and to continue the false narrative.
    Follow the money to see who is compliant to this violation of our medical rights and we the people have to unite and put a stop to this madness.

  5. K

    August 31, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    The courts are not on our side. It’s time to march, to scream, to NOT COMPLY in ALL situations. Don’t wait until this madness returns to Alberta. We need to fight NOW.

  6. Wesley

    August 31, 2021 at 11:22 am

    You are right left coast! It seems Facts just don’t matter about useless masks.

  7. Susan Grant

    August 31, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Disgusting discrimination! #WrathOfGod

  8. Left Coast

    August 31, 2021 at 9:40 am

    No sense bring real Science into the matter . . . .

    12 studies, the most recent being Stanford U & MIT . . . all agree that Masks are Useless to stop a Virus.

    But Masks are great to keep Society living in Fear and Obedient to their “Leaders”.

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Canada-Europe take action over COVID variant Omicron

“Emergence of Omicron, a new variant of concern reinforces the need for caution,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

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With the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC) named Omicron in South Africa, the Canadian government is taking steps to limit the risk to Canadians.

Travellers arriving from countries of concern within the last 14 days will be required to quarantine pending negative COVID-19 tests. Countries of concern include South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.

On Friday, Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the federal government will impose five measures in an effort to limit its spread in Canada.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam took to Twitter on Saturday to share her concerns over the VOC.

“Emergence of Omicron, a new variant of concern reinforces the need for caution,” wrote Tam.

The WHO has labelled Omicron as a variant of concern due to its high number of mutations and reports that early evidence suggests it could be more infectious than other variants.

Meanwhile, during a news conference on Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will take “targeted and precautionary measures” after two people tested positive for the Omicron variant.

One case was identified in Brentwood, a town in southeastern England while the other case was located in the central city of Nottingham. Both individuals are linked and had travelled from southern Africa. The two individuals are self-isolating along with their households and authorities are working on contact tracing.

Johnson confirmed travellers arriving in England will be required to take a PCR test and self-isolate until a negative test result is provided. Those that test positive for the new variant will have to self-isolate, along with any of their close contacts, for 10 days regardless of vaccine status.

He also said masks will be required in shops and other public spaces and indicated they will “boost the booster campaign.”

“Right now this is the responsible course of action to slow down the seeding and the spread of this new variant and to maximize our defences,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the new rules will be reviewed in three weeks when scientists know more about the variant.

On Friday, the British government added Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to the country’s travel red list. By Saturday, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were also added to the list.

Other countries are adding restrictions on travellers coming from various southern African countries including the US, Japan, Brazil, and Australia while cases have also been reported in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong.

Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic have also reported suspected cases related to travellers arriving from South Africa.

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

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News

Road closures as British Columbians brace for more rain

Closures will impact Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 99 on Saturday.

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As BC braces for additional rain, the government has ‘proactively’ closed a number of highways for travel.

“We are actively responding, monitoring and assessing the many highway closures due to flooding and will continue to do so as we work with local and emergency service partners,” said the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Safety is our top priority while we deal with a rapidly changing and difficult situation.”

Closures will impact Highway 1, Highway 3 and Highway 99 on Saturday. The ministry said the time and duration of the closures will be weather-dependent.

“The highway infrastructure in these areas is extremely vulnerable following recent storms, and more heavy rain in the forecast poses an additional risk,” said the ministry in a press release.

“The closures of these three highways will be re-evaluated on Sunday morning, with the highways reopened when it is safe to do so.”

The release said Highway 1 will be closed between Popkum and Hope on Saturday afternoon as BC Hydro plans a reservoir release, “crucial to protect the Jones Lake Reservoir, which is also being affected by the heavy rains.”

The release explains the reservoir release will discharge water towards areas of Highway 1 that were affected during the November 14 storm.  

“This additional flow – combined with the increased precipitation and already high stream flows – poses a risk of impact to Highway 1 in the Laidlaw area.”

The ministry is bracing for further damage to Highway 1 in this area and said the reopening time cannot be determined at this stage but will be assessed by crews “when it is safe to do so.”

Highway 7 between Mission and Hope remains open with travel restrictions in place. Essential purposes for travel are defined in the travel restrictions order through the Emergency Program Act

Weather statements are in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Squamish to Whistler and the Sunshine Coast into next week. Storms are expected to bring more rain which has resulted in high streamflow advisories for all regions of the coast by the River Forecast Centre.

Ongoing road and travel updates are available on the ministry’s website.

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

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Bill to aid jurors traumatized by testimony up for vote … again

Bill C-206 would amend a 1972 secrecy law to permit jurors to disclose confidential details of deliberations for the purpose of “medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling.”

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For the third time in three years, legislators will attempt to pass an aid bill for jurors traumatized by graphic testimony in criminal courts.

“When we ask citizens to be a juror we don’t ask them to be a victim,” said Quebec Senator and bill sponsor Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu.

“There is no excuse not to adopt that bill.” 

Bill C-206 would amend a 1972 secrecy law to permit jurors to disclose confidential details of deliberations for the purpose of “medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling,” said Blacklock’s Reporter.

Two identical bills, S-207 and C-417, lapsed in the last two Parliaments.

“That kind of bill should be a government bill, not a private bill,” said Boisvenu.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of private interest. It’s a matter of national interest.”

In 2017, the Commons justice committee recommended the Criminal Code amendment after hearing testimony from former jurors who said they quit jobs, suffered marriage breakdown and were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after being compelled to watch crime scene videos and hear testimony from coroners.

“Everyone’s mental health matters,” Ontario Senator Lucie Moncion said Thursday.

“Yet from a legal point of view, jurors are part of a special category of people who are denied complete health care. The secrecy rule prohibits a juror from disclosing information related to deliberations to anyone including a health care professional. This needs to change.”

Moncion was a juror in a 1989 murder trial and said the experience left her with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“They show you the whole autopsy,” said Moncion.

“It was very difficult. This is still very difficult for me.”

Alberta Conservative MP Michael Cooper, a member of the 2017 Commons justice committee that recommended reforms, said delays were inexcusable.

“It should have been a no-brainer for the government to have brought this bill forward,” said Cooper indicating the bill has been “studied thoroughly.”

“There have literally been no arguments tendered against this piece of legislation.”

Cooper, in 2019, sponsored a similar bill – C-417 – that lapsed. MPs at the time noted U.S. jurors were free to discuss their experience with friends, family, psychiatrists or media.

“In the United States once a trial is over jurors are generally free to discuss the events of the trial and jury deliberations unless a specific court order bars them from doing so,” said Ontario Liberal MP Arif Virani, then-parliamentary secretary for justice.

“What that means is that jurors in the United States can talk with nearly anyone about juror deliberations including a talk show host on national television or across the Internet. This approach, which offers limited protection for juror privacy, is significantly different from the Canadian model.”

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