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'Bad beyond argument': B.C. court dismisses claim opposing federal, provincial COVID-19 measures

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

A B.C. judge has ruled that a lawsuit opposing federal and provincial COVID-19 restrictions cannot proceed in its current form, noting its claims of "global conspiracies" and "crimes against humanity" can't be adjudicated in civil court.

The 391-page notice of civil claim was filed in B.C. Supreme Court in 2021. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Teresa Tam, Premier John Horgan, the RCMP, the CBC and BC Ferries are among the 19 defendants named.

The plaintiffs are a group called Action4Canada, 10 named individuals, three anonymous individuals and two businesses. They were asking for a combined $20 million in damages, alleging their Charter rights were violated.

Justice Alan Ross broadly summarized the case in his decision on Aug. 29.

"In this action, the plaintiffs seek relief for various hardships and damages they say they have suffered. They seek damages, and other relief, from various government entities and employees," he wrote.

"The plaintiffs allege that their damages flow from various restrictions instituted due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Ross dismissed the notice of civil claim but stopped short of throwing the case out entirely.


Ross summed up the claim as alleging that restrictions such as mandatory masking, limits on gathering, vaccine mandates and mandatory COVID-19 testing "exceeded the authority of the government agencies."

The specifics of how the plaintiffs were impacted by these public health measures, Ross noted, spans 75 pages. Examples include several instances of individuals claiming they were arrested for not adhering to the mask mandate, others who said they were fined for not following public health orders, an employee whose workplace required her to be immunized, and two people who said their businesses were negatively impacted.

"In each of these interactions, the public agencies involved were enforcing the health mandates issued by the Federal Government and the Province of British Columbia," Ross said.

"The allegations at the operational level are then linked to the allegedly overreaching and ill-advised health mandates imposed by each level of government. Those mandates, in turn, are linked to individuals within government, either elected or employed."

The court also heard that the claim challenged the existence of the pandemic itself, argued that the public health orders were not based on science, accused government and health officials of criminal conduct and advanced conspiracy theories.


The defendants applied to have the entire Notice of Civil Claim struck as "prolix," which the court heard is a term describing a pleading that is "tediously lengthy" and too unwieldy to proceed.

Due to the sheer number of pages, Ross ruled, the claim was "clearly prolix."

Further, he accepted the defendants' argument that the "unlimited scope of the document" meant it would be impossible for them – individually or collectively -- to file a response.

"They would not know what case they were required to meet," he wrote.

The defendants also argued that the notice of civil claim asked the court to adjudicate a number of issues that are entirely out of its jurisdiction.

Those included asking the court to declare that vaccination against COVID-19 is experimental and violates the Nuremberg Code, that public health orders were designed to deliberately harm small businesses and that the World Health Organization's motive for declaring a global pandemic was in some way nefarious and at the "behest of global billionaire, corporate and organizational oligarchs" like Bill Gates.

The claim also asked for the court to declare that masks do not prevent transmission of the virus and that public health measures are based on case counts determined by the "fraudulent use' of the "debunked" PCR test.

Ross agreed that the claim asked the court to weigh in on a number of issues far outside the court's jurisdiction. 

"It describes wide-ranging global conspiracies that may, or may not, have influenced either the federal or the provincial governments. It seeks rulings of the court on issues of science. In addition, it includes improper allegations, including criminal conduct and 'crimes against humanity,'" he wrote.

"In my opinion, it is 'bad beyond argument.'"


The defendants argued that due to the myriad problems in the Notice of Civil claim, the entire case should be thrown. They argues the lawsuit was "an abuse of process" that is "clearly frivolous and vexatious."

However, Ross declined to dismiss the case in its entirety and instead ruled that the plaintiffs can – individually or as a group – amend the claim.

"Put simply, individuals have standing to question whether state actions infringe their Charter protected rights. Hence, in this case, there is a prospect that the plaintiffs could put forward a valid claim that certain of the COVID-based health restrictions instituted by the Federal or Provincial governments infringed their Charter rights," he wrote.

"The existence of a single potential, viable cause of action means that it would be improper for me, at this stage, to foreclose upon the plaintiffs’ right to bring their claims." Top Stories

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