Canadian city councillor suggests coronavirus rule breakers could be charged with ‘manslaughter’

If someone dies or gets sick at a party that does not conform to COVID-19 rules, could the host be held accountable? a member of the Calgary city council asked.
Thu May 6, 2021 - 6:50 pm EST
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CALGARY, Alberta, May 6, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian city councillor has bizarrely suggested that a host of a party that does not conform to COVID-19 rules could face manslaughter charges if a guest gets sick and dies from the Wuhan coronavirus.

“The assumption coming out of Osgoode Hall (a prestigious Canadian law school) is people who are holding parties where, somebody dies of COVID, leading to a COVID death, could be charged with manslaughter. Is that something that we should be talking about?” Calgary city councillor Druh Farrell said Monday in a committee meeting. 

Farrell made the remark as a form of a question directed at Mark Neufeld, Calgary Police services chief.

In response, Neufeld said that her question was “probably the $50,000 dollar question,” noting that manslaughter charges flouting lockdown rules don’t line up with the Canadian criminal code let alone the constitution.

Farrell’s reference came after Lisa Dufraimont of York University’s Osgoode Hall law school suggested a recent judge’s ruling meant coronavirus rule breakers could face such charges.

“And if in fact it does cause someone’s death, as the judge said, then that could amount to manslaughter,” Dufraimont said last week as reported in the Globe and Mail

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British Columbia Judge Justice Ellen Gordon had handed a man a fine of $5,000, 18 months of probation, and one day in jail after he plead guilty to holding a party of 78 people in his condominium, contrary to local COVID-19 rules. 

Gordon said the man’s party was “a crime, not a party.” 

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has been a strong advocate for extreme COVID-19 lockdown measures, recently saying he is “frustrated” that many COVID-19 related fines are being tossed by the courts.

“I'm calling on the court system to take this as seriously as the police do,” said Nenshi, as reported by the CBC. 

According to the same CBC report, Neufeld said public protests are not prohibited by the current COVID-19 restrictions, adding that the province told the police to “not to fill the courts with $100 mask bylaw tickets and to be more strategic in the enforcement. So we've done that and it may be reflected in the numbers.”

Nenshi was pleased with harsh lockdowns restrictions announced by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney on Tuesday. Those restrictions shutter churches, schools, sports, and outdoor dining. 

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) last year said they would file legal action against Nenshi and the city after he threatened to impose a 28-day “circuit breaker” lockdown on Calgarians.

“Your threat to lockdown the City of Calgary is a gross usurpation of authority. There is no statutory authority for your proposed exercise of this power, nor historical precedent for the use of such extraordinary authority in the history of this nation by an official such as yourself,” the JCCF said at the time.

  alberta, calgary city council, covid-19, druh farrell, justice centre for constitutional freedoms, lockdowns, manslaughter, naheed nenshi

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