A Mirror cafe owner convicted of contempt of court for holding an anti-lockdown rally in May wants to appeal his sentence.
Christopher Scott was sentenced by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Adam Germain on Oct. 13 to three days in prison, but considered time served in jail after being arrested at the May rally. The owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe was also fined $20,000 and ordered to pay just under $11,000 in court costs and do 120 hours of community service. Scott has three years to pay off the court order at no less than $500 per month.
Scott’s Calgary lawyer, Chad Williamson, filed a notice of appeal with the courts last Thursday. The notice says Scott intends to appeal the judge’s findings of fact as well as the sentence, including the conditions, length and terms of his probation, the community service and a restriction on travel outside of Alberta.
Williamson said he is seeking an application to stay the judge’s decision. If that application is rejected, he will ask the appeal be expedited.
Also to be appealed is a “restriction on the appellant’s freedom of speech,” which is related to an order from Germain that Scott include a statement when talking about COVID-19 health measures, including on social media, that his views “may not be the views held by the majority of medical experts in Alberta.”
Scott is also required to say: “While I may disagree with them, I am obliged to inform you that the majority of medical experts favour social distancing, mask wearing and avoiding large crowds to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” as well as adding that most medical experts support vaccination and it is shown statistically to save lives and to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.
The notice of appeal says that by ordering Scott to “engage in involuntary, compelled speech” his constitutional rights of freedom of expression were violated.
A notice of appeal does mean it will automatically go forward. Appeal court judges decide whether the appeal will be heard.