Vancouver — The British Columbia Supreme Court has filed an appeal in support of a public health order banning indoor religious services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
A statement from the Center for Constitutional Freedom on behalf of the group, including the three Fraser Valley Churches, announced on Thursday that it called for the High Court to review the decision.
At a hearing last month, advocacy lawyer Paul Jaffe claimed that the order of state health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry unfairly violated the client’s right to religious freedom.
Judge Christopher Hinkson said the order was justified and the question in court was not whether Henry had the right balance of infringement, but whether he acted reasonably in light of the available information. I decided.
No one in the Attorney General was able to immediately comment on the notice of appeal.
In a statement, Justice Center lawyer Marty Moore said the judge “supported extreme respect for the judiciary over unelected bureaucrats” and “set aside a constitutional scrutiny” that applies to such laws. He states that he has decided.
“The declared public health crisis does not allow courts to ignore constitutional obligations to ensure that government actions respect the rights of citizens’ constitutions,” he says.
The notice of appeal dated March 31 seeks an order to revoke Hinkson’s ruling and grant the petitioner’s original remedy, along with costs.
Henry last week changed the rules of the place of worship, which allows up to 50 people to serve indoors, but this week overturned that decision as cases of COVID-19 reached a new peak.
Her order currently allows outdoor service under certain rules and restrictions.
Jaffe, the petitioner, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Chapel, Abbotsford’s Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church, and Chilliwack’s Free Reformed Church, carefully adhered to the same safety protocols as those approved by Henry in the open. He said he had adopted it.