British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, will stand trial and address the concerns of BC-based organization the Canadian Society for the Advancement of Science in Public Policy (CSASPP).
The self-described non-profit, non-partisan, secular, and crowd-funded organization’s objective is to counter BC’s COVID-19 related measures, which have been in place since March 18, 2020 when the provincial government declared a state of emergency.
The ball got rolling on Tuesday morning when CSASPP had their first hearing.
It initially filed their class action suit on Jan. 26, 2021, and Henry must personally submit to answering their questions while under oath.
Yesterday’s hearing – a judicial management conference – was strictly procedural, meaning it was not meant to deal with any of the allegations CSASPP is making in the action, but it did however ensure that the process going forward is not unreasonably delayed.
During the hearing, the Crown opposed solidifying a trial date, saying it was too premature. CSASPP argued it was appropriate, and the judge agreed.
“Dr. Henry, in her capacity as the provincial health officer for the province of BC, and the Crown, will stand trial as ordered by the court starting 17 April, 2023,” writes CSASPP in an August 11 release.
“It will be set for 40 days. We also intend to conduct her examination for discovery well before that.”
The certification hearing will be on the week of June 20, 2022.
“For those of you unfamiliar with class actions, a certification hearing is very important, arguably more so than trial,” said CSASPP.
During yesterday’s hearing, the Crown told the judge that it would like more details regarding what the defendants are being sued for.
The judge told the Crown they’ve been in possession of the suit since January, and therefore should not need much time to discern what the alleged concerns are. He ordered the Crown to provide their requests by August 25, 2021.
The public was able to listen to the hearing via a teleconference option.
“Crown counsel advised the judge prior to the hearing they had not been consulted in our request that public access be made available by teleconference for the hearing,” writes CSASPP.
“Our judge said public access is important, so far as it does not violate the rules of court. He also said the public should be able to listen in real time to what was happening and be informed of any orders that are made.”
The judge stood down the court until the teleconference was up and running, in order to ensure the public was able to listen.
Both parties will return to court for their second case planning conference on Sept. 27, 2021, as ordered by the judge. Instructions on how the public can listen will be updated on CSASPP’s website closer to the date.
On their Go Fund Me page, CSASPP describes how an astronomically low infection fatality ratio, testing kits producing false positives, the disappearance of the seasonal flu, and an overall lack of adequate evidential foundation are being increasingly questioned by legal scholars, small business owners, physicians, nurses, the scientists selling the tests, civil liberty advocacy groups, and many more.
“Since we filed, we’ve been overwhelmed with public support,” said Kip Warner, executive director of CSASPP, in a June 3 interview with the Western Standard.
“Millions of people worldwide are turning off corporate and government news sources as they rediscover the value of thinking for themselves. Consider that we didn’t even put out a news release, and yet awareness of our campaign went viral… no pun intended, shortly after we filed.”
The BC government stands by their actions.
“As this matter is presently before the courts, we will not be commenting on the litigation or the plaintiff organization,” a spokesperson of the Ministry of Attorney General told the Western Standard.
“As set out in the Response to Civil Claim, the province and the provincial health officer deny the allegations made by the CSASPP and say the orders made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are lawful and fully comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
CSASPP says it “will continue to take all reasonably necessary precautions to protect the identity of any high level government whistle-blowers within Dr. Henry’s staff, another governmental entity, or those in the private sector that may communicate with us from time to time.
“If requested, we can make arrangements for encrypted telephone, video, email, or text.”
Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard