Whistle Stop Cafe east of Mirror was open for sit-down dining in defiance of health restrictions earlier this year. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Whistle Stop Cafe east of Mirror was open for sit-down dining in defiance of health restrictions earlier this year. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Whistle Stop Cafe owner’s legal battle continues

Government stopped closure order legal action but Public Health Act breach still a live issue

Legal action around a closure order against Mirror’s Whistle Stop Cafe has been dropped but the owner is still facing a court battle over breaching the Public Health Act.

Alberta Health Services said they were not dropping all legal action against Whistle Stop owner Christopher Scott. The courts were no longer required to enforce the closure order he was given because new health restrictions no longer prohibit dine-in service.

“The court is not needed to enforce the order because there is essentially no order to enforce,” said AHS in response to queries.

“The RCMP are continuing their action in relation to the breach of Public Health Act.”

On Whistle Stop’s Facebook page, Scott posted a lengthy message explaining where his legal battles are at.

https://www.facebook.com/whistlestoptruckstopcafe/posts/1935379893283884

AHS dropped the application forcing him to close between Feb. 1 to Feb. 8, which was later enforced with an emergency injunction granted by a Red Deer judge on Feb. 3.

Queen’s Bench Justice Gaylene Kendell said then she must weigh the potential harm that could occur if she does not issue an injunction.

“The interest at stake is the health of Albertans and the health of the public,” said Kendell.

Scott’s lawyer, Chad Williamson, said he intends to argue that the validity of the public health order was “problematic” and amounted to “government overreach.”

“I do not believe AHS had grounds to file the application, or impose restrictions in the first place and this is what I wanted to have heard in court.”

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Scott said AHS dropped that case but other legal action remains ongoing.

“To be clear, AHS has not dropped their case against me. I still have to appear in court on April 22 to answer for opening against the restrictions.” That will be in Stettler provincial court.

Scott struck a defiant tone on Facebook and made it clear he was not giving up his fight.

I will not comply to fear-based garbage restrictions and rules that are not backed by evidence and facts. Especially when those rules do irreparable harm to the other people of Alberta,” he wrote.

“Almost sounds like we need an emergency injunction to prevent (chief medical officer of health, Dr.) Deena Hinshaw and AHS from doing things that harm Alberta….”

Reached by phone, Scott said he was happy with how things were going.

“I’m happy with the support we have and I’m looking forward to seeing that happens when we get our day in court.”



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