Dr. Henry seeks injunction against BC churches violating COVID-19 orders

Feb 10 2021, 12:06 pm

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has filed for a court injunction against three churches to get them to comply with BC’s COVID-19 restrictions around public gatherings.

According to the documents, the three churches are Riverside Calvary Chapel in Langley, the Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church in Abbotsford, and Free Reformed Church of Chilliwack. The application states that compliance is “critical,” particularly given the fact that new threats of transmission from the COVID-19 variants are now at play in the province.

It states that evidence from around the world shows that transmission occurs in social settings, gatherings, “and in particular, religious gatherings.”

Further, it adds that “clusters of COVID cases stemming from religious gatherings and religious activities have been noted since the onset of the pandemic.”

The application for the injunction comes after the aforementioned churches filed a petition last month against the ban on in-person services.

In late December, three separate Chilliwack churches were ticketed for hosting in-person worship services in defiance of current COVID-19 public health orders.

Prior to that, the Riverside Calvary Chapel was fined $2,300 in November for failing to adhere to BC’s provincial COVID-19 orders.

The hearing on the injunction order is scheduled to be held this Friday in Vancouver.