The City of Kelowna has filed a petition requesting an injunction to stop big players in COVID-19 mandate protests from disturbing the citizens of Kelowna.
A petition filed to the B.C. Supreme Court on Jan. 16 names David Lindsay, unknown persons operating as Common Law Education and Rights (C.L.E.A.R), John Doe, and Jane Doe as the Respondents.
The anti-mandate protests that were once a weekly occurrence at Kelowna’s Stuart Park, have now been scaled back to monthly.
The petition claims the rallies violate the good neighbour bylaw by disturbing enjoyment of the park by the public.
Elizabeth Anderson, the lawyer representing the City of Kelowna, said that the injunction would prevent the Respondents from participating in activities that interfere with the use and enjoyment of outdoor spaces in downtown Kelowna. The petition calls for an injunction preventing activities including processions, marches, the sale of merchandise, erecting tents or pavilions, creating a nuisance, blocking roads, using voice amplifying device, in or on a City park or road in the in the downtown core of the City between Recreation Avenue and Harvey Avenue, without prior approval from the city.
Anderson said that there is not yet a court date set for the petition.
Six people have filed affidavits, including four bylaw officers, providing evidence of the frequent protests and subsequent alleged bylaw violations and disruptions caused by C.L.E.A.R.
An email from a representative of the Downtown Kelowna Association was included in the affidavits, claiming that the weekly protests interfered with nearby businesses.
Bylaw officers also provided statements they have handed out warnings and tickets at the protests and that they have witnessed the gatherings.
If the injunction is granted, it would allow police to arrest the Respondents, and any other person who has notice of the order, if they are involved with the downtown rallies.
Lindsay is also set to appear in court in February and March on assault charges stemming from an incident in August 2021.