Hope drew the attention of the entire country when a local restaurant defied B.C.’s public health orders.
Rolly’s Restaurant refused to ask its customers for vaccine proof dating back to early September, and was finally ordered to shut down on Oct. 7 after several visits by Fraser Health. In those visits, health officers explained the health orders to the owners and staff.
Still, they refused to close their doors or comply, which drew support and complaints. And when their refusal landed the owners in court, they doubled down and told the judge they had no plans to start.
That court date was on Oct. 20, and the judge granted Fraser Health an injunction to ensure Rolly’s would stayed closed until they agree to follow the health order. They are allowed to open when they agree to start asking people for vaccine proof.
Instead, it was the first day of what’s turned into a long-term closure of the popular eatery; it remains closed to this day.
The injunction was sought because Fraser Health officials believed the owners were intent on continuing to operate while in violation of the order. The District of Hope also suspended their business licence for six months.
In the days while they were operating in violation of public health orders, there was at least one rally in the parking lot. On another occasion, a candidate for the People’s Party of Canada in the federal election held a meet and greet in the parking lot.
Owner Marlene Abeling told the BC Supreme Court that she doed not believe COVID-19 is a health risk, that it has never been transmitted in their restaurant, and that it is illegal to ask their customers for proof of vaccinations.
Both the judge and lawyer for Fraser Health said that argument is “for another day.”
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