‘Court abuse’: judge launches legal action against Edmonton’s COVID-19 mask regulation

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City council passed a bylaw this summer requiring face covering in all publicly accessible indoor spaces, including shops, restaurants and transit facilities. The regulation was renewed in November and will be in effect until the end of 2021.

Miller filed his statement Aug. 24, alleging that the mask regulations have created a “nuisance” and that the “real health crisis” is “the buildup in the litter caused by the disposal of unsanitary, worn-out masks” in public places.

A clerk flagged the trial as “apparently vexatious” and referred it to Neilsen, the Edmonton judge charged with screening potentially abusive court records.

In response to a series of questions from Neilsen, Miller, who was not represented by legal counsel, claimed the mask regulation violated its Charter protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

He then called the bylaw a “senseless act of absurdity, depravity and unlawful abuse” and said: “We could very well see another mandatory rule promulgated by Edmonton council that all Jews must wear yellow stars.

Neilsen agreed, adding that “Mr. Miller does not deny that he is advocating not for himself but for a larger social purpose.

“He is candid about the reason for his trial: he is a self-proclaimed community advocate who has taken legal action to change the political decisions of political actors. This is another reason why Mr. Miller’s lawsuit against Edmonton is an abuse of court.

The judge did not order Miller to pay the city’s court costs.

– With files from Dustin Cook

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