Maxime Bernier promotes Vancouver restaurant that flouted COVID-19 rules
VANCOUVER -- People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier mingled with supporters this week at a Vancouver restaurant that made headlines for flouting COVID-19 public safety restrictions.
The controversial politician, who has repeatedly appeared at rallies pushing back against pandemic mitigation measures, despite the rising COVID-19 death toll, posted a series of pictures on social media Tuesday taken at Corduroy restaurant.
Corduroy was forced to close earlier this year, and subsequently had its business licence suspended, after owner Rebecca Matthews refused to follow B.C.'s temporary ban on indoor dining. She continued serving customers inside into early April, just as COVID-19 transmission was climbing to record levels in the province.
On Twitter, Bernier praised Matthews as "courageous" for defying "authoritarian lockdown orders."
"If you are in the Vancouver area, you have to visit Corduroy restaurant," he said.
B.C. health officials have credited their temporary restrictions, as well as increasing vaccinations, for getting COVID-19 cases under control. B.C.'s rolling weekly average for cases has fallen from a record of 1,130 per day two months ago down to 175 as of Tuesday.
Back in April, Bernier was among hundreds of protesters who rallied outside the Alberta legislature to call for the province to fully reopen and end COVID-19 rules.
The group also chanted "lock her up" in reference to Alberta's chief medical officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
Premier Jason Kenney responded to the event in a Twitter thread, writing that it is "increasingly clear that many involved in these protests are unhinged conspiracy theorists."
With files from CTV News Edmonton