RED DEER, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) — A Canadian café owner who defied COVID health mandates and kept his restaurant open to in-person dining in early 2021 has been acquitted of all nine charges leveled against him.
On Monday, Justice James Glass of the Red Deer Provincial Court told Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott that he “will acquit” him “of the charges.”
“You’re free to go,” Glass said.
From January to April 2021, Scott kept his café, which is in the small hamlet Mirror, north of Red Deer, open contrary to COVID rules in place at the time banning in-person dining.
Eventually, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Scott later in the year in his restaurant parking lot. He was jailed for a time and charged with multiple COVID-related violations.
Crown prosecutors had argued that Scott had defied the Public Health Act. However, Scott’s lawyer, Chad Williamson, said outside the courthouse on Monday that the health orders were not reasonable.
“Whenever you’ve got government-administrated bodies, it’s important that they’ve got the right legal advice to exercise their powers lawfully,” he said to the media.
“And that was not done in this case.”
As for Scott, he said, “If the associate chief justice of this province isn’t going to make sure the rules being put on us are within the law, I would say that’s something Albertans should pay attention to, regardless of what side of this conversation you’re on.”
Scott’s charges being dropped by a judge come in light of a recent Alberta court ruling concerning COVID mandates in Alberta. At the end of July, a judge ruled that politicians violated the province’s health act by making decisions regarding COVID mandates without authorization.
LifeSiteNews reported last week that in light of the above court case, Alberta Crown Prosecutions Service (ACPS) said Albertans currently facing COVID-related charges will likely not face conviction and will have their charges stayed.
Thus far, besides Scott, Alberta Pastors James Coates and Tim Stephens, who were both jailed for keeping their churches open under former Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s leadership, have had all COVID charges leveled against them dropped due to the court ruling.
Scott’s defiance of COVID rules resulted in 2021 resulted in a judge going over and above to restrict Albertans freedoms.
Alberta Chief Justice J. Rooke issued a blanket order on May 6, 2021, that placed a ban on “illegal” protests in Alberta against COVID mandates. This order allowed police to arrest, detain, and imprison anyone who disobeyed COVID rules. However, this order was intended to be directed at Scott, but it was also used to jail Pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother Dawid.
The May 6 injunction was originally worded in such a way that, in theory, could apply to every Albertan, allowing police to arrest anyone who violated COVID-19 rules.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) had this order revised on May 13 to only apply to Scott.
After Kenney stepped down from his role as premier, Danielle Smith took over and fired the province’s top doctor, Deena Hinshaw, and the entire Alberta Health Services (AHS) board of directors, all of whom oversaw the COVID mandates.
Smith made headlines last October after promising to look at pardoning Christian pastors who were jailed for violating so-called COVID policies while Kenney was premier and for apologizing to those who were discriminated against for not getting the COVID shots.
“I can apologize right now. I am deeply sorry for anyone who was inappropriately subjected to discrimination as a result of their vaccine status,” Smith said.