Injunction against Fraser Valley restaurant a message to others not checking vaccine passports
A B.C. supreme court judge has granted the province’s request for a permanent injunction against Rolly’s Restaurant in Hope, which remained open and continued to serve customers despite having its business and liquor licenses suspended on Oct. 7, for not checking vaccine passports.
That didn’t surprise Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee.
"What is surprising is it was a permanent injunction as opposed to temporary, to essentially give Rolly’s a slap on the wrist and say get in line and then hope that going forward they will comply with their own willingness," said Lee. "This appears to be a very clear message from the court."
If Rolly’s defies this latest order, there will be much more serious consequences than the daily fines the owners have been facing for operating without a licence.
"The court having given that injunction, that is a very serious matter and you ignore an injunction at your peril," said solicitor general Mike Farnworth.
Lee believes Fraser Health won’t hesitate to have RCMP enforce the injunction, which they are required to do by law.
"And that’s going to mean arresting the owner of the restaurant, the staff at the restaurant, patrons of the restaurant," said Lee.
Premier John Horgan has no sympathy for Rolly’s owners.
"If you’re not prepared to follow the rules that everyone else is living under in a civil society there are consequences, and we have seen that," said Horgan.
A Vancouver restaurant has also had its business licence suspended for refusing to check proof of vaccination. It’s the second time Corduroy has been shut down by the city for not following public health orders.
"Corduroy is one of the most egregious in terms of flouting the COVID restrictions that were put in place, and we have heard from a lot of members of the public. I think people are pretty happy to see the different authorities are taking action," said Vancouver city councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung.
If Corduroy chooses to defy the closure order like Rolly’s did, she expects a similar injunction would be granted by the courts .
"I think people have really had it with them, so we should throw every possible measure at them," said Kirby-Yung.
The fact the province sought and was granted an injunction in just two days should serve as a warning to Corduroy and others that aren’t following public health orders.
"This sends a message that this is the enforcement that can take place. This can have a serious impact financially on your business," said Farnworth.
"It should be taken to be a sign to other restaurants that you will likely lose your business, and will be put in a worse position by going through this than if you just comply," said Lee.
Both Corduroy and Rolly’s were closed on Thursday. If Rolly’s re-opens, owners can expect a visit from RCMP. If Corduroy operates without a business licence, the courts would almost certainly grant another injunction to shut the restaurant down.