Canada – Article: What happened when COVID-19 skeptical legal cases made it to court in Ontario?

In October 2021, a handful of protesters loyal to the QAnon conspiracy movement gathered outside a public health building in eastern Ontario.

“You are interfering with them being served,” a security guard standing in front of the Peterborough Public Health building was told by one protester in a video posted to Twitter.

The group eventually entered the building, heading for the third floor, apparently to serve a cease-and-desist letter on behalf of a figure styling herself as the Queen of Canada.

Officials with Peterborough Public Health confirmed to Global News that no legal paperwork was ever filed by the group.

“The medical officer of health has not been named a defendant on any court cases/human rights complaints related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” a spokesperson said.

While the group in Peterborough failed to make its appeal in front of a judge, others have taken issues with mask mandates, vaccines and lockdowns to courts in Ontario.

“My impression has been the pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone, including the court process, but the court has handled it fairly well and has taken a fairly measured and reasonable response,” Christopher Wirth, senior council with Keel Cottrelle told Global News.

Writh has followed COVID-19-related cases as they have appeared in Ontario courts, including how judges have viewed appeals against pandemic restrictions.

A range of cases that have been heard by provincial courts have been dismissed. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario threw out at least four complaints about mandatory vaccination in January alone.

In March 2022, for example, a proposed class action lawsuit was dismissed for the second time, with the Court of Appeal of Ontario holding up a previous ruling in no uncertain terms.

The case alleged COVID-19 was a global conspiracy designed, among other things, to promote a sterilization program.

The case, brought by Stacy Amikwabi and several others, named a wide-ranging list of defendants. Pope Francis, Queen Elizabeth II and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were all included. So too were Ontario Premier Doug Ford, former health minister Christine Elliott and Ottawa’s then-mayor Jim Watson.