The defiant restaurateur has been acquitted of breaching public health orders.
TORONTO: Christ Scott, the owner of the Whistle Stop Café, has finally been acquitted of violating public health orders after almost two years of uncertainty and a legal battle that pulled out all the stops.
Scott was charged with seven violations of the Public Health Act and one violation of the Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Act early in 2021 for refusing to close his restaurant during the pandemic. If convicted, he faced the possibility of imprisonment.
The Democracy Fund (TDF) retained Williamson Law to defend Scott against his charges.
The decision to acquit Scott came on the heels of the Ingram decision, which was released at the end of last month. In that decision, Justice Romaine of the Court of King’s Bench ruled that public health orders made during the pandemic were outside the jurisdiction of the Public Health Act because they were made by members of the Alberta cabinet instead of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Scott’s trial commenced prior to the release of Ingram but was adjourned in the middle of a defence cross-examination to allow Scott to seek disclosure of approximately 1000 pages of email correspondence that Alberta Health Services failed to disclose. After reviewing the disclosed documentation, Scott’s lawyers filed a Charter application alleging Scott was targeted for prosecution because of his outspoken disapproval of government action.
“Scott may have been convicted if he had a less tenacious legal team,” says Alan Honner, TDF’s litigation director. “The delay caused by Scott’s disclosure application ultimately gave the defence the benefit of the Ingram decision, which led to Scott’s acquittal.”
This victory would not be possible without the generous support of TDF donors. You can help people like Chris Scott by making a tax-deductible donation to support TDF.
About The Democracy Fund:
Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports access to justice initiatives for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.
Whistle Stop Cafe owner Chris Scott acquitted after being accused of breaking Covid-19 public health orders
Chris Scott was acquitted on Monday after facing the wrath of Alberta’s law enforcement for refusing to close his diner despite COVID-19 public health restrictions being imposed.
A Red Deer judge acquitted Whistle Stop Cafe owner Chris Scott on Monday after he was accused of breaching pandemic-era public health orders by continuing to serve customers at his diner.
According to reporting by the CBC, the decision was made due to the recent ruling that found that COVID-19 public health orders were enacted in a manner that did not adhere to Alberta’s Public Health Act.
Chad Williamson of Williamson Law has handled 150 of our Fight The Fines cases and is now expecting to secure victories and avoid convictions for every single COVID-19-related client he has represented (150-0).
FULL REPORT: https://t.co/fPSOMwRChG— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) August 25, 2023
The courtroom reportedly erupted in cheers after the ruling was announced, as many of Scott’s supporters were present in anticipation of the likely acquittal.
WATCH: Whistle Stop Cafe owner Chris Scott joined @ezralevant to discuss his ongoing legal battle surrounding his refusal to close his business according to public health orders during the pandemic.https://t.co/pSVabzpLNO— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) April 14, 2023
Chris Scott was charged in 2021 after health inspectors made repeated visits to his establishment and warned him that he was violating public health orders by continuing to serve customers at his diner.
WATCH: Chris Scott of the Whistle Stop Cafe says he will remain open despite a judge ruling that he must shut down
FULL STORY: https://t.co/3S3KgkfmUF pic.twitter.com/l7DRewzVpU— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) February 3, 2021
He was then arrested on May 8, 2021 at a demonstration that was being held not far from his restaurant. The protest was allegedly in violation of an injunction order from Alberta Health Services.
Scott’s lawyer, Chad Williamson, spoke to Rebel News about the ruling saying, “This is a massive win for liberty and the rule of law in the province of Alberta. Since day one, Chris and his defence team have taken the position that the COVID mandates were not lawful. Today, we were vindicated.”
Chris Scott, owner of Whistlestop Cafe passionately speaks about the measures the government took against him, the support he received from his community, and the importance of standing up for one’s beliefs.