Kelowna anti-vax pastor loses appeal over church service fine | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna anti-vax pastor loses appeal over church service fine

Pastor Lucier.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK: Art Lucier

A Kelowna pastor who was fined $2,300 for holding a church service during lockdown has lost an appeal to overturn a conviction for violating public health orders.

According to an April 26 Supreme Court of BC decision, Justice Nigel Kent said there was "no merit" to Arthur Charles Lucier appeal of his $2,300 ticket.

The decision says Pastor Lucier organized a gathering of worshippers at his church in January 2021 which breached the Gathering and Events Order issued by the province.

He was then issued a $2,300 ticket.

He took the issue to the BC Provincial Court decision arguing the ticket infringed on rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms but lost his case.

He's now lost his appeal of the summary conviction.

At the height of the pandemic, the pastor became a prominent voice against lockdown rules prohibiting religious services.

READ MORE: Anti-vax Interior Health nurses lose fight with union

He argued the Public Health Act was "flawed and insufficient" and gave him no process in which to appeal its orders.

The original judge in the case disagreed and Justice Kent upheld the original decision.

In the decision, Lucier used complex legal arguments about the structure of the public health order and how it relates to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

However, he didn't sway the Supreme Court Justice that any error had been made in the lower court.

"In my opinion, Pastor Lucier's efforts to re-litigate the constitutionality of the January 8, 2021, Gathering and Events Order are bound to fail and would be a futile waste of judicial resources," Justice Kent says in the decision. "The constitutional validity of the health orders issued by the Public Health Officer has been expressly upheld notwithstanding the fact that they significantly infringed true rights and freedoms guaranteed under... the Charter (of Rights and Freedoms)."

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