Right-wing group loses anti-lockdown court case

A right-wing legal group has lost a court case seeking to lift British Columbia's ban on in-person church services. The Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has argued public health restrictions cause more harm that COVID-19.

The Canadian Press with CNC files

VANCOUVER — A right wing legal advocacy group that challenged COVID-19 rules in British Columbia says its argument that public health restrictions unjustifiably infringed on religious freedoms has been dismissed by a judge.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, which questions the science about the pandemic and has written that  public health officials are more dangerous than COVID-19 and public health restrictions are more harmful than COVID-19, was seeking a court's decision to lift British Columbia's restrictions on in-person church services.

The Calgary-based centre says the B.C. Supreme Court did find the orders issued by the province's top doctor infringed on their right to religious freedom, but they were justified.

In a written ruling released by the advocacy group, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson says the question before the court was not whether Dr. Bonnie Henry struck the right balance between her orders and infringement of religious freedom, but whether she acted reasonably given the information available to her.

Lawyer Paul Jaffe says in a statement the centre will discuss the decision with its clients, including the prospect of an appeal.

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