CALGARY, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) — The owner of a popular Canadian pizzeria says he is planning a civil suit against government officials for a “travesty of justice” after enduring a prolonged legal battle on charges – that were just dropped – for defying COVID rules banning the vaccine free from eating at his restaurant.
On Wednesday, a City of Calgary court dropped all COVID-related charges against Jesse Johnson, who owned Without Papers Pizza, and in 2021-2022 refused to ask his customers for their vaccine passports so that he could serve “everyone.”
Johnson said when speaking with independent media reporter Mocha Bezirgan outside Calgary’s main courthouse Wednesday that he will be “pursuing a civil suit” against government officials and institutions that forced his restaurant to close.
“I plan on pursuing a civil suit, yes. It is a bittersweet irony what happened here today. My restaurant was shut unadjudicated,” Johnson said.
“They shut a man’s business down of 20 years, two families that depended on that, 30 people that were employed by the millions of dollars in taxes that I collected every year.”
Johnson said that the reason he got shut down was that he went against a system that discriminated against the vaccine-free, which was something he did not like.
“Because I did what? Because I chose to accept all and to extend my love to all the fine people of Calgary,” he said.
“A travesty of justice is what occurred? Really, truly a shame.”
Johnson said that he “hopes” and “prays” that his “brothers and sisters in the restaurant industry will stand up in the future and refuse to discriminate any of their customers for any reason whatsoever.”
“It was truly a shame what happened to the hospitality industry,” Johnson said.
“It’s the most difficult experience of my life. These bastards, they literally tried to break me. They tried to break me financially.”
Johnson praised “millions” of Canadians from coast to coast who came together to fight COVID dictates through various protests.
“Never give up hope. Never give up hope and believe in yourself. One thing I’ve learned across this journey is that the power of the human spirit is indomitable. And if there’s a mountain in front of me, that mountain shall move,” he said.
The Democracy Fund (TDF), which funded lawyers Martin Rejman and Chad Williamson in defense of Johnson, noted in a press release that the once-popular pizzeria was charged in October 2021 with “breaching multiple bylaws after its business license was suspended for not complying with public health orders and after undercover inspectors were permitted to purchase pizza and remain in the restaurant without providing proof of vaccination.”
“Among other things, the allegations against the pizzeria were that it permitted persons to enter and remain on the premises without proof of vaccination and that it did not display prescribed signage, all of which was contrary to bylaws passed by the City of Calgary,” the TDF noted.
Johnson’s charges being dropped came in the wake of a recent court ruling that declared certain public health orders effectively null.
At the end of July, Justice Barbara Romaine from Alberta’s Court of Kings Bench ruled that politicians violated the province’s health act by making decisions regarding COVID mandates without authorization.
The decision put into doubt all cases involving those facing non-criminal COVID-related charges in the province.
As a result of July’s court ruling, Alberta Crown Prosecutions Service (ACPS) said Albertans currently facing COVID-related charges will likely not face conviction but will instead have their charges stayed.
Danielle Smith took over from Jason Kenney as leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP) on October 11, 2022, after winning the leadership of the party. Kenney was ousted due to low approval ratings and for reneging on promises not to lock Alberta down, as well as enacting a vaccine passport.
Under Kenney, thousands of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare and government workers lost their jobs for choosing to not get the jabs, leading Smith to say – only minutes after being sworn in – that over the past year the “unvaccinated” were the “most discriminated against” group of people in her lifetime.