RED DEER & MIRROR ALTA. — A group of roughly 75 protestors gathered outside the Red Deer courthouse in support of the Whistle Stop Café located near Mirror who defied an Alberta Health Services closure on January 22.
The business was packed the following weekend, CBC News reports that “cars lines the parking lot.”
Owner, Christopher Scott was in court on Wednesday, Feb. 3 charged with serving dine-in customers in late January.
Until April the diner was operating as a drive-in theatre, when it was shut down by Alberta Health Services.
Scott said the public health measures are intended to curb the spread of COVID-19 have gone on too long, the CBC article says. He also said health officials have mismanaged the health crisis and small businesses have suffered the consequences.
Various signs at the protest read “COVID-19 is a trojan horse used to strip us of all our freedoms,” “freedom is mandatory,” “civil disobedience is our obligation” and “save lives end the lockdowns.”
An lintellingencer article on the protest says;
“Scott took a stand because he feels restaurant owners like himself are being unfairly targeted by health restrictions that allow businesses such as grocery stores and other big chains such as Costco to welcome customers while owners of smaller businesses must turn away patrons who want to sit down for a meal.”
The owner has said he had to reopen or he would see his business fail. He wanted to have health inspectors and Alberta Health Services see what they are doing to small businesses.
He told CBC News to go ahead and fine him since all his savings are gone — “you can’t get blood from a stone.”
“Enough is enough … there comes a point when we can no longer sit back say we’re going to follow these rules blindly.”
Since all this has happened, The Café has now been legally allowed to open, but that doesn’t stop Alberta Health Services from closing them down again.
“The problem is that we are only allowed to legally open,” said Scott in an interview with Sheila Gunn Reid of Rebel News earlier this week. “We are being allowed to open and that doesn’t sit well with me — nor does it sit well with a lot of Albertans.”
If the variants of COVID take over in Alberta, then Alberta Health Services will close them down again.
“That’s my concern going forward is that right now people are kind of ‘well things are open why don’t you just drop this — what do you have to worry about’? Well I’m worried about the next time and the time after that and the time after that so if we don’t do something soon and get some sort of changes happening we’re just going to be going through this all over again … it can’t continue it can’t be allowed to continue. So even though we’re open, there’s a lot of restrictions that a lot of us business owners and many Albertans don’t like and I think we have a lot of work to do moving forward to make sure this can’t happen,” he said.
All Alberta restaurants, pubs and Cafés have now been allowed to reopen in Alberta as of Monday, Feb. 8.
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