A B.C. Supreme Court justice has dismissed a constitutional suit against the provincial health officer that alleged a pandemic gathering and events order was beyond the province’s authority.
According to a decision released on Nov. 18, Devin Mark Klassen believed that in targeting otherwise legal gatherings of British Columbia, the province is motivated by the desire to prohibit religious association and criminally punish those who disobeyed Dr. Bonnie Henry’s pandemic orders.
Klassen had argued that creating sanctions for those violating orders moved the situation into the criminal realm, making it a federal issue.
Justice Robert Jenkins disagreed.
“Although there are sanctions, those are necessary to be able to enforce the mandatory compliance needed for the protection and health care of all British Columbians,” Jenkins said in his ruling.
The judge found the orders were created for the protection and health of the public in an effort to stop COVID-19’s spread.
Jenkins said Henry made the orders using authority granted to her by the province. That power, Jenkins said, is within the authority of the Constitution Act.