Constitutional rights crushed as lockdown protester found guilty of violating COVID-19 stay-at-home order

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An Ontario man challenging harshly imposed COVID-19-related lockdown restrictions since 2020 has been found guilty nearly three years later.

Graham Walker’s alleged crime is peacefully assembling, protesting, and distributing press materials in front of Cobourg’s Victoria Hall, at a time when Premier Doug Ford had declared a third state of emergency and stay-at-home order since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Walker was sentenced today in Cobourg’s provincial courthouse, where he received a “finding of guilt, and a conviction registered” according to Justice of the Peace Jack Le Blanc. He is ordered to pay the original fine amount of $750 plus costs.

“A ‘reasonable person’ would have tried to limit their contact with others to evade getting the virus themselves or to stop from passing it on, as is the intent of the legislation,” read Le Blanc’s decision.

Yet evidence that outdoor viral spread exists has never been produced. Conversely, ventilation has always been paramount in the dissipation of pathogens, with outdoor air being the most effective ventilation system.

This would make any reasonable person recognize that the imposition of stay-at-home orders is perversely ironic.

At the time of Walker’s fining in May and April of 2021, Cobourg police Chief Paul Vandegraaf said enforcing lockdown orders was taking an “emotional toll” on the town’s police force and was costing “in excess of $8,000 in overtime expenses each weekend.”

The restrictions were said to prioritize public safety, and yet Chief VandeGraaf sent dozens of officers to the scene of the weekly protest, despite open-air drug use proliferating in the area unabated.

Walker says that he intends to appeal the decision.



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