The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has ordered a halt to anti-vaccine and anti-public health order protests, effective immediately.
The province obtained a court injunction today, May 14, preventing Freedom Nova Scotia and others from staging illegal gatherings in defiance of Nova Scotia’s public health orders.
Protestors had planned protests for Saturday, May 15. People attending previous demonstrations organized by the group ignored public health orders and refused to wear masks and maintain physical distancing.
“Nova Scotia is in a state of emergency. People have lost their lives. Our collective responsibility is to keep everyone safe,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “All Nova Scotians must respect the public health orders and directives. This is particularly important as the province and our health-care employees work around the clock to care for people in this third wave of the pandemic.”
The injunction, granted by Justice Scott Norton, prohibits any rally that would contravene the province’s public health directives. It also prohibits organizers from continuing to promote the rallies on social media and authorizes police to ensure compliance with the Health Protection Act.
The court accepted that the injunction is necessary to prevent and reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.
“Masking, physical distancing and the other public health measures are essential to reducing the risk of COVID-19, especially with the variants we are seeing in Nova Scotia,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “With almost 100 people in hospital, we all have a responsibility to our fellow Nova Scotians to keep them safe and stop that number from getting higher.”
The injunction remains in effect until the state of emergency is lifted.
- during third wave, April 1 to present, there have been 2,410 confirmed cases and five deaths reported
- the cases reported in the third wave constitute 58 per cent of the total cases reported in Nova Scotia since March 1, 2020
- there have been 103 hospitalizations (non-ICU and ICU) compared to 12 during the second wave
- fifty-four per cent of hospitalizations occurred in individuals under 60 years of age and 13.7 per cent of contacts tested positive
- Freedom Nova Scotia organized rallies in the greater Halifax area on March 28, April 1 and May 1; the rallies contravened the Public Health Order
The injunction order can be viewed at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/court-of-nova-scotia-injunction-order-14-may-2021.pdf
Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information on COVID-19 at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus