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Anti-masker sentenced for incident at Burnaby Canadian Tire

Christopher Ivany pleaded guilty to uttering threats and not wearing a mask; two assault charges stayed
A bystander videoed an altercation on Feb. 22 between staff at a Burnaby Canadian Tire and local welder Chris Ivany, who was not wearing a mask.

It’s a tale of two videos.

Just over 10 years ago, Burnaby welder Chris Ivany was caught on video facing down a group of Stanley Cup rioters trying to break in and loot a downtown Vancouver Telus store.

The rioters knocked him out, but the Telus store was saved, and the Vancouver Police Department went on to award Ivany a medal for bravery, according to news reports at the time.

Fast forward 10 years, to Feb. 22, 2021, and another camera captured a 43-year-old Ivany in a Burnaby Canadian Tire store yelling threats and obscenities at staff trying to make him leave the store for refusing to wear a mask in compliance with public health orders designed to combat  the spread of COVID-19.

“My human rights are trumping your bullsh** mask mandate,” Ivany can be heard yelling on that video, as he is surrounded by several staff members.

The video ends with Ivany, first in a chokehold and then on the floor with a number of Canadian Tire staff attempting to cuff him.

“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe,” he can be heard yelling.

Ivany was in Vancouver provincial court this month to plead guilty to uttering threats and not wearing a mask during that incident.

He had originally been charged with two counts of assault as well, but those charges were stayed as part of an apparent plea deal.

In a joint sentencing submission, both Crown prosecutor Jeffrey LaPorte and defence lawyer Sarah Leamon called for a conditional discharge with nine months of probation during which Ivany be banned from the Market Crossing Canadian Tire, get anger management counselling, stay away from two of the victims involved and pay a $500 fine.

Leamon noted Ivany had lost his job and been unemployed for two-and-half months as a result of the incident and “the media attention that it garnered.”

“He did suffer other consequences aside from these proceedings as a result of this incident,” Leamon said.

Leamon also noted Ivany didn’t have a criminal record.

B.C. provincial court Judge Patricia Bond agreed to the conditional discharge and the recommended conditions.

That means Ivany won’t have a criminal record if he abides by his probation orders for nine months.

He didn’t address the court, but Leamon said he had expressed remorse to her and was taking responsibility for his actions.

A GoFundMe campaign launched by Ivany in February, however, had sounded a more defiant note.

He said donations to the campaign – which he dubbed the “Canadian Tirenny Case and Lawsuit” – would be used to fight “this tyranny and communism that’s coming to our beloved country.”

So far, the campaign has raised $10,129 of its $20,000 goal.

The GoFundMe page says the campaign would help pay for legal costs in the criminal case and a subsequent civil suit against Canadian Tire employees and the “fake news media, which has slandered me and committed libel against me.” 

The NOW could not find any indication on Court Services Online that any civil case has yet been launched.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor