Canadian politician sues provincial government over restrictions around outdoor prayer
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March 23, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Independent Ontario MPP Roman Baber, who was booted from his province’s ruling Progressive Conservative Party by Premier Doug Ford for opposing COVID lockdowns, is suing the government for restrictions around outdoor prayer and gatherings.
“I sued the Attorney General of Ontario for our right to protest, pray & gather outdoors. The risk of transmission outdoors is exceedingly low, but the Government’s outdoor restrictions deny Ontarians their Fundamental Freedoms,” tweeted Baber on Thursday.
Baber, who serves as the MPP for York Centre, announced the lawsuit on Thursday to voice his opposition against the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA).
Baber’s lawsuit states that the restrictions placed on outdoor gatherings by the Reopening Ontario Act “are inconsistent with their purpose or over-intrusive and therefore in violation of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.”
On a Newstalk 1010 show last Thursday, Baber said, “One thing that’s becoming clear is that the prospects for risk of transmission outdoors is exceedingly low.”
“Therefore, I submit that it’s not demonstrably justifiable, that it’s not warranted, to impose restrictions on various outdoor activities, such as protests, such as the ability to pray outdoors and gather outdoors.”
Baber is joined in his 14-page lawsuit by a group called Lift The Lockdown, which stated on its Twitter page it was joining Baber “to defend our Charter Rights to expression, assembly & protest outdoors.”
Lift The Lockdown currently does not have a website. However, a GoFundMe page states it is a “non-profit organization, dedicated to advocacy and litigation against lockdowns and overreaching public health restrictions imposed by governments.”
To date, the group has raised close to $10,000 of a stated $500,000 goal.
Baber’s court filing specifically mentions the Toronto Jewish Russian Community Centre, stating that preventing worshippers from gathering outside in the Centre’s parking lot is unconstitutional.
“The risk of outdoor transmission is negligible, but the government enacted heavy-handed regulations that deny Ontarians their fundamental freedoms,” said Baber.
The province of Ontario has a five-tier system of color-coded lockdown levels. All color sections place some restrictions on outdoor gatherings.
The York region, for which Baber is MPP, is currently in the “red control” level of lockdown, which restricts outdoor religious gatherings to 100 people.
As for Ford, he implied last week that it would be political suicide for a politician to go against the advice of the province’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams.
“There’s no politician in this country that is going to disagree with their chief medical officer. They just aren’t going to do it. They might as well throw a rope around their neck and jump off a bridge. They’re done,” said Ford last Tuesday. “I will always, always listen to the chief medical officer and his team because they’re the professionals when it comes to health care, and I’m not.”
Many doctors in Canada have spoken out against the negative consequences of government-imposed COVID-19 lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.
In late December, Dr. Gil Nimni, a York, Ontario, emergency room (ER) doctor said that lockdowns which send people into “financial ruin” are not the answer to the COVID-19 crisis, and that he shakes his head at his co-workers who go on social media “ranting” about a full emergency room.
Recently, Ontario physician Dr. Kulvinder Gill, who has been vocal on social media in speaking out against COVID lockdowns and shots, was warned by hrer local physicians’ college that her viewpoints are “irresponsible behaviour” spreading “misleading information” about the virus.
In October, Dr. Stephen Malthouse, a Canadian doctor in British Columbia with over 40 years of experience in family medicine made headlines for writing to his province’s top doctor to blast the government’s COVID-19 lockdown policy.
In January, Malthouse was part of 13 doctors who wrote to Ford to blast lockdowns and his booting of Baber.
A non-partisan group called “End the Lockdowns National Caucus” says they are “unified in pursuit of the truth, and resolved to ensure there is open, honest, and public debate regarding the COVID-19 government response.”
Among the group are Ontario MPP Randy Hillier, People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, and now independent MP Derek Sloan, who was booted from the federal Conservative Party recently by its leader Erin O’Toole.