ALBERTA/SASKATCHEWAN: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased to announce that four more Public Health Act tickets issued to individuals in Alberta and Saskatchewan for the exercise of their Charter rights have been dropped by Crown prosecutors.
The Justice Centre represents hundreds of individuals all across Canada who have, among other things, been ticketed for allegedly breaching public health orders by participating in peaceful protests, uncovering their faces when doing so is outlawed, attending church, providing services during lockdowns, receiving friends and family into their homes, exercising their right to enter and leave the country, and refusing to post government propaganda Covid signage.
Lucas Ignjatic, a Calgary man, went to the Calgary courthouse on March 5, 2021, to file legal documents in a family law matter, which would have allowed him to request more time with his daughter. He was not covering his face. After waiting in line for 30 minutes to have a clerk assist him, two courthouse sheriffs removed him from the line. He advised the sheriffs he was exempt from covering his face, but the sheriffs issued him a ticket for $1200 anyways for failing to comply with an Order of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Although Mr. Ignjatic tried to return to the line, the sheriffs at the courthouse told the father he was going to be refused service.
“I felt completely trampled on, the court would have served me, but the sheriff was making a point to shove in my face. I was trying to extend my time with my daughter, and left feeling like some kind of criminal,” says Mr. Ignjatic.
The Justice Centre appeared in court on Monday, June 14 on a number of Public Health Act tickets. At that time, the ticket against Mr. Ignjatic was dropped, as was another ticket issued to an individual being defended by the Justice Centre.
Mr. Tom Lipp, a professional Calgary man, was ticketed in connection with his attendance at Fairview Baptist Church, on Sunday, January 10th. On that Sunday, at least six law enforcement officers and two AHS officials came to the church during the worship service and were denied entry. Mr. Lipp was issued a $1200 ticket and says he was “not exactly sure why.” He suspects AHS “identified me as someone in a leadership position in the church.” The $1200 ticket against Mr. Lipp has also been dropped.
Tracy Fortin (pictured at top), one of the pastors at Church in the Vine in Edmonton, was issued a Summons on April 11, 2021, for obstruction under the Public Health Act. The Summons was issued because Pastor Fortin allegedly denied entry to an AHS official who wanted to enter the Church during a Sunday morning worship service. For months, Pastor Fortin has asserted the Charter rights of her congregants to assemble to worship by stationing herself at the door of Church in the Vine to prevent AHS and Edmonton Police, who have repeatedly demanded entry during Sunday morning worship services, from entering the Church and disrupting worship contrary to section 176 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
R.B. Wintringham, a popular Saskatchewan freedom fighter also known as R.B. Ham,, is being represented by the Justice Centre on eight tickets, the majority of which were issued for attending freedom rallies. Mr. Ham believes he has been targeted for attending protests. Not only has he been harassed and ticketed by the government, he was fired from his job as a night custodian/janitor in a school for attending a freedom rally. Mr. Ham also received a ticket in November 2020 in Saskatchewan, for allegedly failing to wear a mask.
The Justice Centre contacted the Court in Saskatoon to advise Mr. Wintringham would be contesting his ticket, only to be told the ticket was being dropped. It was apparently lost. The Court date had passed, and the ticket was never entered into the system.
“Public health officials and their orders are not the supreme law of the land – the Constitution is,” notes lawyer Jay Cameron, Litigation Director for the Justice Centre. “A significant portion of the arbitrary, confusing, and oppressive Covid public health orders violate Charter rights and cannot be justified. As a result, many of the tickets issued for the supposed violation of such orders are being dropped by prosecutors.”
“Although we are pleased to see yet more Covid-related tickets dropped because they are in violation of people’s fundamental rights, it is alarming to see the issuance of tickets so plainly used as an intimidation tactic.