Whistle Stop Cafe's lockdown rebellion: Owner faces fines, sanctions and arrest

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A lockdown rebellion is underway in small town Alberta with one roadside cafe proprietor swinging his doors open to hungry diners looking for a hot meal, a strong coffee and a little bit of normalcy.

The Alberta Government announced the prohibition of all dine-in service December 13. The decision left the food service industry scrambling to pivot, if restaurants could, to take out and online delivery win what is normally the busy holiday party season restaurateurs rely on to pay the bills through the leaner months of January and February.

Restaurants remain closed to dine-in, although there has been a relaxing of the restrictions on personal care businesses, allowing nail and hair salons, barbers, tattoo shops and massage therapists to see clients again.

One restaurant owner has had enough. Chris Scott owns the Whistle Stop Diner and gas station in Mirror, Alberta.

Population 500, Mirror is about 1.5 hours southeast of Edmonton and it’s home to a delicious protest against the lockdown. Scott opened his diner late last week and the place has been packed ever since and his staff have been volunteering their time to support the survival of the Whistle Stop.

That's not to say it's been smooth sailing for Scott. Alberta Health Services officials paid Scott a visit after he posted to Facebook to announce he would be defying the lockdown and told him must immediately close. He didn’t.

AHS officials have also threatened to yank his health permits and liquor license going forward. The local RCMP, acting under the direction of AHS, has said that Scott has the potential to face escalating fines and possibly jail time.

According to Scott, the police have said that his customers could face fines as well, and even be charged with obstruction of justice if they do not leave when asked.

I was at the Whistle Stop all weekend, and though there were multiple visits from the RCMP, the restaurant and customers made it to Monday without any fines issued and the customers keep coming, undeterred.

But, that's not to say those fines won't come. Rebel News has promised Scott, his staff and customers that if they do receive fines as threatened, we will provide a free lawyer at no cost to help them fight their tickets.

If you would like to help us help the Whistle Stop and other people facing fines, please donate today at www.FightTheFines.com.

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  • By David Menzies

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