It’s been a long and tumultuous journey, but justice has finally been served. Our fellow Albertan and beacon of hope, Chris Scott, owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe and CEO of the Alberta Prosperity Project, has been acquitted by a Red Deer judge after more than two years of facing accusations related to pandemic public health restrictions.
Back in 2021, Chris took a brave stand at his cafe in Mirror, Alta., speaking out against public health orders. While many saw this as defiance, we at the Alberta Prosperity Project viewed it as a courageous act of standing up for the rights and freedoms of Albertans. The charges that were levied against him at that time have now been rightfully dismissed.
This acquittal wasn’t just a random act of leniency. It was based on a recent court decision that deemed certain health orders as invalid due to their imposition method, which was in violation of Alberta’s Public Health Act. The moment Justice James Glass announced, “Mr. Scott, I will acquit you of the charges, you’re free to go,” was not just a victory for Chris but for all Albertans who believe in justice and freedom.
Chris’s trial centered around several charges, primarily for allegedly breaching Alberta’s Public Health Act by keeping the Whistle Stop Cafe open in January 2021, despite orders against large gatherings and in-person dining. His arrest in May 2021, following a protest outside his restaurant, was a testament to his unwavering commitment to his beliefs. His stance has always been clear: he was against any legislation that threatened to strip away our fundamental rights without due process.
The decision to acquit Chris was influenced by a Court of King’s Bench ruling, which found that the decision-making process in a lawsuit named Ingram had breached the Public Health Act. This ruling, combined with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service’s recent statement that there’s no longer a reasonable likelihood of conviction concerning Public Health Act charges, paved the way for Chris’s acquittal.
The entire legal battle began when several plaintiffs, including two churches and gym owner Rebecca Ingram, challenged the pandemic-related public health measures, arguing they were contrary to Alberta’s Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court’s findings highlighted that politicians, not the chief medical officer of health, made the final decisions on health restrictions, which is not allowed under the act.
As members of the Alberta Prosperity Project, we stand in solidarity with Chris Scott and celebrate this significant victory. It’s a reminder that when we unite for a cause, justice will prevail.