City of Kelowna Takes Legal Action Over Protest Rallies

On January 16, the City of Kelowna brought legal action against David Lindsay, John and Jane Doe, as well as any additional persons present at the anti-pandemic protests that have taken place in Stuart Park. The motion seeks a court order declaring the protesters have been in violation of city bylaws by holding “events” in the park without permission.

The decision to file this petition would have been made during a confidential meeting attended by city council members.

The municipality has reportedly been subject to a large number of complaints from the public regarding the rallies. In an effort to discourage any unlawful events, they have issued warnings, given out fines for bylaw offence notices and sent letters to respondent David Lindsay and CLEAR.

The City of Kelowna has alleged that the erection of tents, use of amplified sound systems, sale of merchandise, and “standing and loitering” on public roadways are the primary bylaw violations making the protests unlawful.

The rallies were held weekly in the park for nearly three years but are now being reduced to a once-per-month affair. David Lindsay, in a message before the city took legal action, stated that he would still be organizing “special rallies and marches when necessary or beneficial” on top of these monthly events. Kelowna’s city manager Doug Gilchrist was unable to provide new information about when the case might reach a judge on Monday. In cases such as this one, an injunction can be expedited if urgency is required otherwise it will take its standard course through the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

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