Today, Justice Adam Germain found small town restaurant owner Chris Scott guilty of breaking a May 6 court order that restrained him from organizing, participating or promoting an illegal public gathering. Scott held a 1,500 person protest at his business, the Whistle Stop Cafe, after his diner, gas station, convenience store and campground in Mirror, Alberta was seized by Alberta Health Services (AHS).
The same order, granted in secret by Justice John Rooke, was used to arrest Pastor Artur Pawlowski; his brother, Dawid; and Pastor Tim Stephens. None of those men were named in the order, and Stephens, who has now been arrested twice in front of his children remains behind bars in Calgary.
Scott openly defied the coronavirus lockdown restrictions on dine-in restaurants after reopening in January, when the province had closed his cafe for everything except take out in December. Rebel News has been helping Scott through www.FightTheFines.com, where we put Canadians facing legal consequences for fighting the lockdown in touch with top criminal and civil lawyers at no cost to them.
Scott and his lawyer, Chad Williamson, will be at the Court of Appeals on June 30 for a procedural appeal of the May 6 order that resulted in Scott’s arrest for contempt and three days in the slammer. AHS failed to inform Scott’s lawyer about the hearing wherein the order was granted. At the same hearing, AHS also neglected to inform the court that Scott had legal representation, something Williamson calls an abuse of process and a violation of fundamental principles of justice and fairness.
While today’s loss is a disappointing — but not all that unexpected — setback, Wednesday’s hearing may be the biggest fight yet. Williamson and Scott are fighting for the rights of Canadians to be free of secret courts and secret court orders.
It’s time to show the government that they might be the ones who really broke the law, by denying Scott his right to a fair hearing and a lawyer. Thank you to everyone who donated to keep Chris Scott fighting, but the fight isn’t close to over. Donations to www.FightTheFines.com help Scott and nearly 2,000 other Canadians speak truth to power. All donations to that civil liberties project now qualify for a charitable tax receipt from the registered Canadian charity, the Democracy Fund.