Alberta business owners file lawsuit over illegal COVID restrictions, mandates and shutdowns.
Progress is finally happening for our rights.
Alberta gym owner Rebecca Ingram and Whistle Stop Cafe owner Chris Scott have launched a class action lawsuit against the provincial government on behalf of every business owner who suffered economic losses related to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Even if we assume all of the Orders were issued for a proper purpose, on what planet should the financial burden of orders issued for the benefit of society as a whole fall on the shoulders of small business people in the Province of Alberta?” said Rath and Company Barristers and Solicitors lawyer Jeff Rath in a Monday press release.
“The orders were illegal.”
The Court of King’s Bench of Alberta ruled in July COVID-19 restrictions were invalid because they breached the Public Health Act.
The Alberta Crown Prosecutions Service (ACPS) said it has reviewed the decision in Ingram vs. Alberta and has concluded there is no longer a reasonable likelihood of conviction over Public Health Act charges involving the contravention of the disputed orders from the chief medical officer of health.
“Subsequently, ACPS will be taking appropriate steps to deal with these matters in due course,” said ACPS.
Alberta Finance admitted it knew it was underfunding and under-compensating businesses former Alberta premier Jason Kenney and former chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw were targeting. Rath added this “added up to a recipe for economic devastation unseen in Alberta since the Great Depression.”
He called for Alberta Premier Danielle Smith to take the $12 billion surplus it has been provided and use it to make whole all of the people and businesses devastated and destroyed by COVID-19 restrictions. When Smith considers this lawsuit, he said she should internalize these orders being based on disinformation.
This is her opportunity to implement her own Marshall Plan for Alberta businesses. He said she needs to put Alberta Finance to work to ensure every dollar used to settle this lawsuit is deducted from equalization payments.
The Ingram case was not appealed by the Alberta government and resulted in the dismissal of many COVID-19 charges.
Scott said he was “forced to stand up to the might of the administrative state in the face of Alberta Health Services illegally seizing my business at gunpoint, dragging me away in handcuffs, throwing me in jail and padlocking the enterprise that feeds my family.”
“I was assaulted, jailed and my liberty violated under the guise of phoney Public Health Orders that had no business being issued in a free and democratic society,” said Scott.
“I was slandered, libelled and defamed by Government propaganda, including having Alberta government licensed ‘teachers’ telling my child that I was comparable to a Nazi.”
He said Smith needs to take the right action.
Rath concluded by saying Smith can use the settlement of this case to kill two birds with one stone.
“Develop a mechanism to end ‘Equalization’ as she is directed to do by Referendum and reinvigorate the Alberta Economy in a manner that will increase provincial revenue in the long term,” he said.
Rath followed up by saying this case has the potential to become “the largest class action lawsuit in Alberta’s history.”
“I imagine that the damages are going to be in the billions,” he said.
“From my perspective, it’s very providential the Alberta government has a $12 billion surplus this year because a good chunk of it should be going to settle this claim and making all of the people that suffered throughout business closures through COVID whole.”
While he expects to win the case, he said he hopes Smith realizes the applicants in this case represent the majority of her constituents and Alberta United Conservative Party members and settles it. He said Albertans believe it was unfair for small businesses to close down without society compensating them for their losses.
A Red Deer judge dropped charges against Scott on August 28 — more than two years after he was accused of disobeying COVID-19 restrictions.
“Mr. Scott, I will acquit you of the charges, you’re free to go,” said Alberta Court of Justice Justice James Glass.
The decision came after the Crown attorney invited the ruling upon a recent court decision finding the orders were invalid because they were imposed in a way breaching the Public Health Act.
Alberta Health and Justice could not be reached for comment in time for publication.