Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

B.C.’s COVID restrictions on in-person worship to be tested in court

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms says court date is set for March 1 to 3

B.C. officials will be challenged in court for their COVID-19 restrictions on worship services.

The court challenge – set to begin March 1 and take three days – coincides with a similar challenge also filed in Manitoba by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

In a statement Friday (Jan. 29), the centre argued that the health orders which ban in-person worship services are an “infringement of British Columbians’ constitutional rights” under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

WATCH: B.C. church defies provincial ban on in-person services for a second time

The legal challenge, filed on Jan. 8, is in response to several churches across the province being ticketed for disobeying the health orders. Such churches include in Chilliwack, Langley and Kelowna.

In a previous news release, the centre announced it would be representing the following churches in the case:

  • Alain Beaudoin
  • Brent Smith
  • Free Grace Baptist Church – Chilliwack
  • Free Reformed Church of Chilliwack – Chilliwack
  • Grant Reich
  • Heather Lucier
  • Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church – Abbotsford
  • Jack Schoeman
  • James Butler
  • John Koopman
  • Jonah Zryd
  • Kelowna Harvest Fellowship – Kelowna
  • Riverside Calvary Chapel – Langley
  • Timothy Champ
  • Valley Heights Community Church – Chilliwack
  • 100 Mile House Baptist Church – 100 Mile House

In-person worship services were banned on Nov. 19 amid a surge in new confirmed cases in B.C. Those who do not follow these protocols face a $2,300 fine. Repeat offenders can also face charges under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act.

READ MORE: RCMP submit reports to BC Prosecution Service after three Chilliwack churches continue in-person worship


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusReligion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The welcome sign is the first thing new employees moving to Prince Rupert will see as they drive the road into the city. The ‘Prince Rupert - Make it Home’ employment campaign to draw people to the region was launched on Feb. 16. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Stakeholders respond to employee recruitment campaign housing ‘disconnect’

‘Prince Rupert -Make it Home’ is 5-year recruitment and retention campaign

More than 35 families received renoviction notices on Feb. 26, 2020 at Pinecrest Townhomes in Prince Rupert. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Renovictions will be tightened in proposed changes to renters laws

Rent freeze, and changes to procedures will benefit Prince Rupert tenants and landlords

Chloe and Koy are two participants in the talent show format of the 2021 annual Children's Fest to be broadcast on community television March 5th and 6th. ()Photo: supplied by Prince Rupert Special Event Society)
30th Annual Children’s Fest takes on a new format

2021 Prince Rupert Children’s Fest will feature a show of local talent

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Families on the North Coast will benefit from 70 new childcare spaces Ministry of Children and Family Development announced on March 1. Seen here are children from Growing Together Child Care Centre in Surrey. (Photo supplied by Jennifer Rice, MLA for Northcoast)
Northcoast families to benefit from new childcare spaces

62 Childcare spaces in Lax Kw’alaams and 8 in Haida Gwaii are part of Childcare BC New Spaces Fund

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Most Read