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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms) — The Justice Centre filed a legal challenge in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against restrictions on public protest and worship services resulting from Public Health Orders issued by B.C. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The Justice Centre represents more than a dozen individuals and faith communities that have been issued multiple tickets of up to $2,300 for allegedly violating the orders while exercising their Charter freedoms.

The province, specifically Dr. Bonnie Henry, has issued orders prohibiting people from organizing or attending “events” “except as provided for in” the Orders. This has resulted in peaceful protestors being ticketed for not complying with all requirements in the Orders, such as collecting the first and last names and contact information of fellow protestors. Further, since November 19, in-person worship services have been completely prohibited, regardless of the extra safety measures implemented by faith communities.

The faith communities described in filing the petition have gone to extraordinary lengths to comply with health guidelines, including limiting attendance to no more than 50 persons, pre-registering attendees, rearranging seating to ensure physical distancing, providing hand sanitizer and masks, and enhancing cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

Some members cannot access online services. To many in these faith communities, gathering in-person is essential to their spiritual and emotional well-being. Affidavits have been filed attesting to the negative effect prohibiting in-person gatherings has had on individuals, including loneliness, depression, anxiety and fear.      

Although support groups are permitted to meet, the Orders prohibit faith communities from gathering for any “worship or other religious service.”

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The publication of Senator Josh Hawley's new book, 'The Tyranny of Big Tech', has been scrapped by Simon & Schuster after the publishing giant implied that he had a hand in inciting violence at the Capitol on Wednesday.

This is not only outrageous, but condemnable!

Simon & Schuster publishes books by Planned Parenthood ('In case you're curious [about sex]'), Malcolm X and Linda Sarsour, to name but a few...but, not Senator Hawley?!?

Please SIGN and SHARE this pledge to boycott buying from Simon & Schuster until they rethink this critical free speech issue and go foward with the publication of Sen. Hawley's new book.

Nothing that Simon & Schuster is implying could be further from the truth!

Yes, Senator Hawley did lead Senate Republicans in objecting to the Electoral College vote, trying to protect voter integrity and get to the bottom of the multitude of allegations of election fraud which the judiciary have all but refused to investigate.

But he was not responsible, in any way, for the eruption of violence later in the day.

For attempting to 'cancel' Senator Hawley's freedom of speech - ironically, in a book on the censorship of free speech by Big Tech - Simon & Schuster don't deserve the business of conservatives and freedom-loving Americans of all political persuasions.

For his part, Senator Hawley went on the counter-attack issuing the following scathing statement about the Simon & Schuster decision to ban his book:

"This could not be more Orwellian. Simon & Shuster is canceling my contract because I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition. It's a direct assault on the First Amendment. Only approved speech can now be published. This is the Left looking to cancel everyone they don't approve of. I will fight this cancel culture with everything I have. We'll see you in court."

Please SIGN this pledge to boycott Simon & Schuster, today!

Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Publisher cancels Sen. Hawley's book due to Capitol riot' - https://www.wnd.com/2021/01/4883184/

'Hawley blasts 'woke mob' at Simon & Schuster after canceling his book' - https://www.foxnews.com/media/josh-hawley-simon-shuster-woke-mob-tyranny-of-big-tech

**Photo Credit: Al-Drago-Pool / Getty Images

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These severe measures are being imposed on members of the religious communitywhile the BC government allows hundreds of people to gather at any given time in a single big box store. The government allows residents to gather and seat six at a table at bars and restaurants. In contrast, British Columbia tells citizens, “Do not attend a service at a church, synagogue, mosque, gurdwara, temple, or other places of worship.”

The Petition challenges that the Orders on the basis that they unjustifiably violate the rights and freedoms of BC residents protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including:

section 2(a) (freedom of conscience and religion);

section 2(b) (freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression);

section 2(c) (freedom of peaceful assembly);

section 2(d) (freedom of association);

section 7 (life, liberty and security of the person); and

section 15(1) (equality rights).

The Petition also challenges the Orders on the basis that they are unreasonable and exceed Dr. Henry’s authority as Provincial Health Officer.

“The undemocratic Orders of Dr. Bonnie Henry restricting and even outright prohibiting the exercise of citizens’ fundamental freedoms display a disregard of Canada’s constitutional protections,” noted Marty Moore, staff lawyer with the Justice Centre. “This court challenge will require the BC government to answer for these divisive and discriminatory orders.”

The Justice Centre has retained West Vancouver lawyer Paul Jaffe to lead the legal case against the BC government.

“The Petition requires the Court to address whether the BC Government has struck a rational and legally permissible balance between public health objectives and the fundamental rights of Canadians,” states lead counsel Paul Jaffe. “Laws must not target people in arbitrary and discriminatory ways.”

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