Mom’s Diner owners Wesley Langlois and wife Leslie Clothier are fighting the ticket and legal summons they received for opening in violation of health regulations in January. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Mom’s Diner owners Wesley Langlois and wife Leslie Clothier are fighting the ticket and legal summons they received for opening in violation of health regulations in January. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer diner owners’ COVID legal battle has been good for business

Mom’s Diner was fined $1,200 in January for opening despite health restrictions

At Red Deer’s Mom’s Diner business has never been better.

For Leslie Clothier, who runs the diner in West Park with husband Wesley Langlois, the attention has been a welcome (result) of the legal battle they waded into when they opened in defiance of health restrictions in January.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of support. Every day, we see new faces coming from all over Alberta,” said Clothier on Thursday.

“We’ve ended up with more regulars out of the deal. A lot more people know about us now.

“That’s not what we were after in the beginning, but now it’s like a blessing really.”

Clothier and Langlois may pay a price for taking a stand and serving sit-down customers in late January at a time when it was not allowed under health restrictions and the province’s chief medical officer of health repeatedly urged Albertans and businesses to follow the rules.

Only days later, restrictions would be eased to allow limited sit-down dining.

Mom’s Diner was fined $1,200 for breaking the rules. They signed the ticket indicating their not guilty plea and have a June 23 court date. A day after the ticket they were given a summons and will have a second court date on June 29.

READ MORE

Red Deer diner fined for opening

Clothier said the legal battle will be hard for small businesses such as hers run by the couple with their son as the cook. Going to court will mean closing the doors that day.

Numerous other small businesses challenging their fines are probably in a similar situation.

“There is a lot of court action out of (health restrictions), and for what because we the people want to be heard and no one’s listening.”

Not all support the stand they took and some see it as “acting out,” she said.

“That’s the way a lot of people see it when they don’t see it from our side, right. It’s not that we’re acting out. We’re standing out for what we believe in.”

Calgary lawyer Chad Williamson represents Mom’s Diner, among 65 or so COVID-related enforcement cases his firm has taken on.

Another client is Nathalie Klein, owner of Innisfail’s Bladez 2 Fadez Barbershop.

Klein briefly celebrated earlier this month when it appeared Public Health Act charges laid against her in January when she opened her business in violation of health restrictions, had been dropped.

However, after the initial charges were dropped due to a “clerical error” they were laid again by RCMP a short time later.

Williamson questions the decision to lay what he calls “re-charges” just after Klein publicly declared victory after the original charges were dropped.

“This looks like a vindictive attempt to stifle her free speech and punishing her for responding publicly to these withdrawals,” he said.

Williamson is looking into the constitutional implications of withdrawing charges only to lay the same charges again soon after.

“This could be a potential abuse of process. We don’t have all the answers. We’re still investigating.

“We plan to aggressively defend Ms. Klein.”

Klein’s case is back in Red Deer provincial court on April 19. Although with various COVID-related restrictions, the case at this early stage will likely be handled through email correspondence with Crown prosecutors.

Williamson said the dozens of clients he is representing include many restaurants, including Mirror’s Whistle Stop Cafe and Bashaw’s Noble Fox in central Alberta.

“We’re not COVID conspiracy theorists. But we are advocates of the rule of law and the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice.”

“We think that all of this is extremely important and there are elements of this that are in jeopardy right now,” he said.

“Oppression and overreach and breaches of natural justice need to be checked.”



News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Arshdeep Bains eyes a loose puck in front of the Medicine Hat Tigers net Saturday night in WHL action at the Centrium. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels fall short in 12th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 (Saturday) Tigers 3 Rebels 2 (Monday) The Red… Continue reading

Red Deer property owners will receive their 2019 property assessment notices in the next few days.  (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer awaiting more details on how federal budget impacts city

The City of Red Deer is awaiting more information on how much… Continue reading

With a ban on sit-in dining once again in place, Las Palmeras owner Andre Lemus is gearing up for more takeout and delivery business. He has also applied to set up an outdoor patio, where dining is allowed under new restrictions. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Big interest in outdoor patios in Red Deer as sit-down dining banned again

City of Red Deer has tweaked its patio regulations to make it easier to get a permit

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during second-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

Canada head coach Bev Priestman reacts during the women's international friendly soccer match between England and Canada at Bet365 stadium in Stoke on Trent, England, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Priestman says her goal is to help Canada move up the Olympic podium after back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rui Vieira
Olympic soccer draw will allow Canadians to start planning on and off the pitch

Olympic soccer draw will allow Canadians to start planning on and off the pitch

Federal government’s extension of CEWS in budget is some good news for CFL franchises

Federal government’s extension of CEWS in budget is some good news for CFL franchises

Canada's Brendan Bottcher dropped a 6-3 decision to Scotland's Bruce Mouat in the men's final of the Humpty's Champions Cup. Bottcher makes a shot against Scotland at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Friday, April 9, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Mixed results for Canadian teams at Champions Cup as Homan wins, Bottcher loses

Mixed results for Canadian teams at Champions Cup as Homan wins, Bottcher loses

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Stewart Cink watches his drive down the second fairway during the final round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament in Hilton Head Island, S.C., Sunday, April 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Cink coasts to win at Hilton Head for 2nd title of season

Cink coasts to win at Hilton Head for 2nd title of season

The Official UEFA Champions League match balls are on display ahead of the Champions League quarter final second leg soccer match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Threats of expulsion as UEFA confronts Super League rebel 12

Threats of expulsion as UEFA confronts Super League rebel 12

San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) motions to the crowd during a break to mark his passing Gordie Howe for most NHL games played in the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, April 19, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Sharks’ Marleau breaks Howe’s NHL games played record

Sharks’ Marleau breaks Howe’s NHL games played record

Most Read