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Local Bookstore Targeted by AHS During Lockdowns Fights Back in Court

A small bookstore from Eckville, AB, is fighting AHS in court to secure a judicial review of the Public Health Appeal Board's two closure orders and a food handling permit suspension order, all stemming from the COVID era.

Stacy's Happy Place was continuously "targeted" by AHS, sometimes accompanied by the RCMP, for refusing to enforce mask and vaccine mandates. The large courtroom was filled to the brim, with all eight rows occupied by people. Some individuals were allowed to witness the proceedings by standing on the sides of the room, while others waited outside due to the maximum fire limit capacity.

Lani L. Rouillard, B.A. Psych., LL.B., the pro bono lawyer for Stacy's Happy Place, stared down three government-funded lawyers today as the judge is expected to deliver her decision later on whether a judicial review of the Public Health Appeal Board’s two closure orders and a food handling permit suspension order stemming from the COVID-era will proceed.

"This has been a three year journey and this family has been through it."

Lawyer Lani L. Rouillard says, pointing out that it took her clients three years to have their day in court regarding this particular application.

"Their business has been closed three times. They've had cash register receipts taken from them without a warrant under threat of arrest. The owner had quasi criminal charges put against her just based on the AHS inspection reports alone. And the quasi criminal charges had fines of 10 to $100,000, as well as 18 months in prison."

Rouillard expressed how grateful she is to the family for standing up.

"It takes a lot to stand up and say, no, this is not the rule of law."

Long-time Conservative Member of Parliament Art Hanger, who served for the Calgary Northeast riding, was seen observing the proceedings today inside the courtroom.

"There is something wrong with the way AHS is not accountable to the public anymore,"

says Hanger, agreeing with the lawyer Rouillard's assessment of the process being the punishment. When asked whether Danielle Smith, the premier of Alberta, can do anything to help, Hanger says,

"She can begin the process of getting rid of all the legislation that allowed an organization like AHS to do what they're doing. Just scrub it. Get rid of it. And there's no reason why she can't."

Hanger stresses that getting rid of the legislation isn't enough, but accountability must also commence.

"The premier is aware of this overreach by AHS, I think it's going to take a major effort of will on her part and the cabinet to do something about it. -- I think there's a fundamental violation that is taking place here. The rights of ordinary citizens to have protection under the law are being greatly threatened. I think that has to be renewed with a renewed confidence that the government is going to protect the people whom they are supposed to serve. And that doesn't seem to be happening,"

Adds long-time MP Art Hanger.

A GiveSendGo was started to help the family through this difficult time.


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