Churches File Class Action Lawsuit Over ‘Draconian’ COVID-19 Measures

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The Manitoba government is facing a class action lawsuit filed by seven rural churches protesting the ongoing COVID-19 measures that have impacted religious gatherings.  

The lead plaintiffs claim in their class action lawsuit that the province has taken on vast powers under the guise of public health, infringing on residents’ religious freedoms protected in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The legal action comes as Manitoba tightens its public health measures in the face of a possible rise in coronavirus infections that have already resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 residents, according to CBC News 

The lawsuit claims that public health authorities have used COVID-19 infections counts that are “inaccurately inflated and the resulting inaccurate figures” to justify recent lockdown measures in Manitoba.  

The plaintiffs, including Gateway Bible Baptist Church, Pembina Valley Baptist Church, Redeeming Grace Bible Church, Grace Covenant Church, Slavic Baptist Church, Christian Church of Morden, Bible Baptist Church, Minister, a deacon, the owners of a restaurant in Winkler, Manitoba, and an individual fined for protesting at a rally in Steinbach, Manitoba, say that provincial public health authorities have failed to take into account the “collateral social and health costs” of lockdown measures that have resulted in fines and forceable closures of religious organizations.  

“The stress and loneliness that these measures have caused the Applicants, (and all Manitobans) is profound and devastating,” alleges the class action lawsuit. “How ‘flatten the curve’ turned into more than a year of crushing public health measures which restrict everything that makes Manitobans happy and human is unfathomable.” 

The class action lawsuit lodged by Manitoba churches appears to be riding a growing wave pf resentment over continued restrictions implemented in an effort to curb the ongoing and deadly coronavirus pandemic. Advocacy group, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, says that there have been similar legal action taken in other provinces.  

“Personal rights and freedoms have vanished almost overnight, with no end in sight,” alleges the class action lawsuit which is challenging Manitoba’s public health orders that restrict or ban public and private gatherings and close churches and other religious organizations.  

What do you think of the COVID-19 measures in your area? Tell us in the comment section below! 

The lead plaintiffs are represented by Allison Kindle Pejovic and Jay Cameron of the Justice Centre For Constitutional Freedoms.  

The Manitoba Churches COVID-19 Lockdown Class Action Lawsuit is Gateway Bible Baptist Church, et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of Manitoba, et al., Case No. CI 20-01-2981 in the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench.   

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