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 emergency department at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock, B.C., in July 2020. (Black Press Media)
Peace Arch Hospital Foundation reaches $12 million goal

New operating suites to open this fall

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Surrey RCMP asking for dash-cam video of ‘suspicious incident’

Incident involves a newer model Toyota Rav 4 SUV

Surrey RCMP are investigating a “serious” collision near Cloverdale Saturday evening. (Curtis Kreklau photo)
Surrey RCMP investigating ‘serious’ collision in Cloverdale

Witness says vehicle collided with utility pole at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read