Mask-exempt customer goes on HUNGER STRIKE after being denied medication refill

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What does a mask exempt woman have to do to pick up her medication from the pharmacy these days? For one Parksville, British Columbia resident, who was refused service for being exempt from wearing a mask, a hunger strike was necessary.

Ela Tanase didn’t even allow the $230 fine the police issued her for not leaving deter her, and why should she have? B.C.’s ministerial order on face coverings clearly outlines that “it is not possible for some persons to wear face coverings.” Additionally, it is clear that according to B.C. human rights laws, “A person is not required to share private details about their disability,” and that “they should not be pressed for details about their condition.”

Isn’t it ironic that a place that is supposed to help citizens with their medical needs is the same place ignoring someone’s medical, psychological, or behavioural mask exemption?

Instead of filing a human rights complaint against the Pharmasave that refused to serve her, Ela went home, grabbed a protest sign, and undertook a six day hunger strike in protest of what she believes was discrimination. Finally, the pharmacy came to its senses and allowed her to pick up her prescribed pain medications.

Click to watch my interview with the bold and brave Ela Tanase.

Ela Tanase is one of our newest Fight the Fines cases. That means that she can relax while one of our top notch lawyers does all the paperwork and fights the fine on her behalf. If you’ve received a tyrannical COVID-19 fine, or if you’d like to donate to help us continue to fight these fines for hundreds of people, please head to

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