A Kelowna pastor has lost his appeal of a conviction he received for violating public health orders in 2021.
Pastor Arthur Lucier held a worship gathering at Kelowna Harvest Church International on Jan. 24, 2021, and received a $2,300 ticket the same day for contravening a Gathering and Events Order issued by the province just over two weeks earlier.
Lucier sought a motion to challenge the ‘constitutionality’ of the order. It was denied in Sept. 2022, with Justice Clarke Burnett hearing Crown’s argument that the appeal was an ‘impermissible collateral attack’ against the order, meaning that it was an attempt to avoid the binding effect of an order for specific relief.
He then appealed the ruling on constitutional grounds, arguing that the judge made “palpable and overriding errors” in fact and law.
It was dismissed on April 26, 2023, with Justice Kent deciding that Lucier had “no merit” in his appeal, and that “it is simply a reframing of Pastor Lucier’s basic criticism” that a judicial review is not an effective way to determine the constitutionality of the order.
“I am not inclined to characterize this ground of appeal as a ‘new argument”.