May 24th, 2024

Lethbridge man found guilty of contravening health order


By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on November 18, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge businessman who was ticketed under the Public Health Act for unlawfully holding a rally on the steps of City Hall in January, has been found guilty.
Judge Erin Olsen found Mike Hoffman guilty of contravening a public health order that prohibited public gatherings, and said Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court she was satisfied Hoffman not only attended the rally, but helped organize it.
Hoffman failed to convince the judge police had improperly singled him out to receive a ticket, and failed to prove the event did not contravene the Health Act.
During the conclusion of his trial last month, Hoffman argued the Crown failed to prove he attended the rally, despite a video recording of the event taken by police, and failed to prove he organized the rally. The judge, however, said the video clearly shows Hoffman speaking to a crowd of about 45 people on Jan. 12, and on behalf of the organization responsible for the rally.
“I am as close to certainty as I can be, the person in the video is Mike Hoffman,” Olsen said.
She said Hoffman is seen in the video speaking to the crowd, mingling with people, talking to them, and even shaking hands, and all during a social gathering in a public place, which contravened the health order.
During his closing arguments last month, Hoffman said the video was not a true or accurate depiction of the rally, and he even tried to convince the judge it shouldn’t be relied upon because the video camera couldn’t capture the true colours of people’s clothing.
Olsen disagreed, however, and said her review of the video showed it accurately depicted what occurred during the rally, and the colours accurately depicted the scene.
“Watching the video recording made me feel like I was there,” Olsen said.
Hoffman, who had previously pointed out he is a professional photographer, spun in his chair to face the courtroom, smiled and silently laughed following the judge’s comments.
Hoffman told court he intends to appeal the judge’s guilty verdict, and he has already filed a Charter application because, as he told court last month, the prohibition under the Health Act “goes against my Charter rights as a Sovereign Canadian, a free Canadian.”
Edmonton lawyer David Kamal of the department of justice and the solicitor general, who attended the hearing by CCTV, confirmed he had received from Hoffman a copy of a document relating to his Constitutional issue. However, Kamal pointed out the document “doesn’t make legal sense to me when I read it,” and he’s unclear on Hoffman’s argument. Hoffman was told to submit a new and better articulated document to support his argument.
Hoffman had hoped the judge would hear his Constitutional argument Tuesday, but it was adjourned until next year, after a 10-day Queen’s Bench trial in February concludes on the Constitutionality of Alberta’s health orders. Kamal said dozens of other Constitutional challenges in Alberta have been held in abeyance, pending the outcome of the trial. That outcome could determine whether Hoffman’s challenge will proceed.
Hoffman said his Constitutional argument is unique, and suggested will be precedent-setting. Olsen told him she doubts his challenge is unique, given the numerous other ongoing challenges.
The matter has been adjourned until May, when a date may be set to hear Hoffman’s Constitutional challenge. Kamal reminded the court that the Constitutional challenge needs to proceed before Hoffman can be sentenced for contravening the Health Act. The fine for contravening the Act is $1,200.
Following the rally in January, Hoffman was also ticketed by the city for holding a public event without a permit. He failed to show up for his bylaw trial on that matter, was convicted in absence, and fined $300.

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Guy Lethbridge

This type of clown used to be just annoying and funny. Now it’s dangerous, This type of sovereign citizen, anti-science, clowning costs lives. Don’t sell crazy here, we’re all full up.

biff

seems to me the “event” was free, and people voluntarily gathered: he did not corral those attending and somehow forced them all to gather. he did not sell or distribute tickets. hardly a basis upon which to convict. oh, i guess it was because he spoke his opinion publicly. yes, that cannot be allowed in any case where the official narrative is not honoured. what a bad man…a terrorist threat to official narratives everywhere.