Dec 042023
 

Sandra speaking:     The last paragraph below catches much of the problem.

For my part:  I cannot comprehend How a doctor (Bonnie Henry) can live in the country of Canada and think that her modus operandi is acceptable?

JOHN KOOPMAN HAS COURAGE.  I stand in support of him for doggedly staying the course.  Koopman is a pastor;  which has nothing to do with the issue of, for example, Bonnie Henry giving  permission to select groups in the society, while denying the same permissions to other groups.  Who does she think she is?    . . .  And once again,  bless all the Canadians who have chipped in money to make these defenses against our own Governments possible.  I shudder to think where we’d be without every one of us pitching in, in small ways, to stop present-day tyranny in its many forms.  We will prevail.

John Koopman fights for all of us.  Please use these grievances  – – talk about them,  especially with people you know in the policing and judicial systems.   Make sure they know what’s happening.  This has to be stopped.   Silence will not do.  The mainstream media is not covering these cases.

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BC pastor seeks Court order for the BC Attorney General and Provincial Health Officer to disclose records of exemptions provided after some records show that Dr. Bonnie Henry unfairly favoured some faith groups.

ABBOTSFORD, BC: The Justice Centre announces that Pastor John Koopman is challenging the prosecution against him after discovering that BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, granted preferential treatment to some faith groups over others. Pastor Koopman was charged with violating Covid gathering restrictions for hosting in-person worship services even while Dr. Henry allowed some Orthodox synagogues to gather for outdoor and even indoor services.

In a hearing running December 4-7, 2023, at the Abbotsford Law Courts, Pastor Koopman will be seeking records of the accommodation requests the Provincial Health Officer received and how she handled them, and records of communications she received from BC politicians about prohibiting in-person worship services.

The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in courtroom 402 at Abbotsford Law Courts, 32203 South Fraser Way.

John Koopman is the Pastor of the Free Reformed Church in Chilliwack, British Columbia. In November 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry prohibited in-person worship services while allowing bars, restaurants, gyms, and salons to remain open for in-person service.

Based on its religious convictions to gather for worship in-person, the Free Reformed Church re-opened its doors in 2020 and 2021 while simultaneously complying with health orders regarding face masks, hand washing, social distancing, etc. In January 2021, the Free Reformed Church, along with two other churches, filed a constitutional challenge to the prohibition on in-person worship services. After filing the challenge, Pastor Koopman and others submitted an accommodation request to gather for in-person worship services, but their request received no response for several weeks. At the same time, Dr. Henry had been responding promptly (within one or two days) to accommodation requests from Orthodox synagogues, granting them permission to meet in-person.

Two business days before the Court was to hear the constitutional challenge, Dr. Henry finally granted the Free Reformed Church and the two other churches limited permission to gather outdoors, while refusing permission to gather indoors, claiming this to be too risky. However, earlier that same week, Dr. Henry had granted all Orthodox synagogues in the province permission to gather indoors.

On March 18, 2021, BC Supreme Court Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson dismissed the Free Reformed Church’s challenge, in part because Dr. Henry had granted permission to meet outdoors. The BC Court of Appeal upheld Chief Justice Hinkson’s decision, and the Supreme Court of Canada subsequently denied leave to appeal.

Meanwhile, Pastor Koopman and other churches and pastors have been prosecuted by the Crown in the BC Provincial Courts. On November 8, 2022, Pastor Koopman was found guilty of hosting an in-person worship service on December 6, 2020.

On April 14, 2023, Pastor Koopman submitted an Application to the Provincial Court of British Columbia, alleging that the discriminatory actions of the Provincial Health Officer had made the continuation of his prosecution offensive to societal notions of fair play and decency and had brought the administration of justice into disrepute. In response, on May 10, the Crown argued that the abuse of process application should not proceed to an evidentiary hearing, and that Dr. Henry and Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Brian Emerson should not be subpoenaed as witnesses in the case.

From May 15–18, 2023, Judge Andrea Ormiston heard arguments on whether the abuse of process Application could proceed to an evidentiary hearing. On September 6, 2023, Judge Ormiston denied the Crown’s Application to summarily dismiss Pastor Koopman’s abuse of process Application because she found that there was “some evidence that the PHO preferred some faith groups over others.” Judge Ormiston found that, under the circumstances, it was not “manifestly frivolous” to think that the continued prosecution of Pastor Koopman “risks undermining the integrity of the judicial process.”  Judge Ormiston did decline to allow Dr. Henry or Dr. Emerson to be subpoenaed in the matter.

The December 4–7 evidentiary hearing at the Provincial Court of British Columbia in Abbotsford will address whether the Attorney General of British Columbia and/or Dr. Bonnie Henry are required to:

  • Provide records of the accommodation requests Dr. Henry received and how she handled them;
  • Provide records of communications between Dr. Henry and the British Columbia Premier, Health Minister, and/or other elected officials and/or their staff in relation to restricting or prohibiting in-person worship gatherings.
Lawyer Marty Moore stated, “The actions of the Provincial Health Officer toward people of faith in British Columbia during Covid were frankly shameful. She categorically prohibited in-person gatherings for worship, indoor or outdoors, and even brought an injunction application seeking to have pastors and parishioners arrested for gathering for worship. At that same time, she was providing permission to select groups to meet for worship, both outdoors and, in some cases, indoors, while ignoring, from what we can tell, all other requests from other religious groups to meet. In this context, we believe that the prosecution of Pastors in BC for violating the PHO’s Orders ‘offend societal notions of fair play and decency and bring the administration of justice into disrepute,’ and that, consequently, these prosecutions should be stayed. The Court, and the public, deserve to see the evidence Pastor Koopman is seeking from the PHO on whether accommodation requests were granted based on science or other factors, and the extent to which politics played a role.”

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