We have a major FightTheFines.com victory to announce today, coming to us from the Great Alberta Restaurant Rebellion led by Chris Scott, owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror.
Alberta restaurants were closed to dine-in services in December by an order of public health officer Deena Hinshaw, to stem rising coronavirus case counts. In January, when it was clear the government was not moving to lift the closure order, despite plummeting cases and hospitalizations, Scott took matters into his own hands. He opened his dining room again, in defiance of the lockdown.
Customers filled his small diner, and so did Alberta Health Service inspectors and local RCMP.
Day after day, Scott was subject to constant surveillance and surprise visits from the local police and health bureaucrats. He was given a closure order and two summonses to appear in court for violating the public health order lockdown, but he grilled on.
Slowly, restaurants all across the province followed suit, breaking the lockdown to welcome customers into their dining rooms too. The rebellion grew to Cold Lake, Bashaw, Sylvan Lake, Big Valley, Smith, Red Deer and Hanna. The spreading civil disobedience led to the government announcing a Feb. 8 relaunch date for dine-in service.
But the announcement of the relaunch didn’t stop the enforcement actions taken against the Whistle Stop. With just two business days left before Alberta restaurants could “legally” re-open, AHS sought and won an emergency injunction in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer to close the doors of the diner. Which meant that if Scott breached the order and kept serving customers, he could be arrested for contempt of court and held in jail.
Rebel News hired Scott a criminal lawyer, Chad Williamson, to argue his case and fight back at no cost to Scott. And I am happy to report Williamson and Scott have sent the bureaucrats packing, forcing AHS to withdraw their injunction against him. The government will also have to cover the after-the-fact costs, holding them accountable.
Scott, Williamson, the businesses that defied the lockdown and the customers who supported them stared down the government, and the government blinked.
If you would like to help Rebel News fight for civil liberties by fighting one lockdown ticket at a time, please donate at www.FightTheFines.com.