Associated with this is apparent frustration and anger towards people who break or break the rules. The anti-masks protests that have appeared in many parts of the country, particularly in Alberta, do not appear to have made their case with the general public, and in some cases, they appear to have done so. Racist messages have also been spread. There is little apparent sympathy for the 536 travelers each fined C $ 3,000 for avoiding the mandatory hotel quarantine period required upon entry.
This week, some of that anger and frustration spilled over into the Vancouver sentencing hearing. The case involved a man who defied restrictions in British Columbia by converting a penthouse apartment into a makeshift nightclub, with topless dancers and a pole dance. When the police entered it on January 31, 78 people were trapped inside.
“If someone at your party gets injured and dies, as much as I am concerned, you are guilty of manslaughter,” Judge Ellen Gordon of the District Court of British Columbia said. According to the CBC.
It did not stop there as it sentenced him to 11 days in prison, including the 10 days he had already served while awaiting his release on bail; 18 months on probation for violating two parts of the Public Health Act; And 50 hours of community service. He was also fined for violating alcohol laws by running an unlicensed bar.
“What I did, sir,” she said, “can be compared to individuals who sell fentanyl to individuals on the streets who die every day.” “There is no difference. I have voluntarily assumed a danger that might kill people in the midst of a pandemic.”
Her remarks raised an interesting question: If the deaths followed an event that violated regional emergency rules, did the event organizer commit unintended murder?
The judge raised only a hypothetical assumption in Mr. Musaghi’s case. There was no evidence provided by the police or prosecutors that anyone had been infected in a makeshift nightclub, let alone that he had died.
Even in a city with at least two restaurants Brazenly breaking lockdown restrictions During the pandemic, the actions of Mr. Musagi, who admitted his guilt, became prominent.
Police are starting to receive complaints about big and loud parties at Mr. Mwasaghi’s apartment, even though British Columbia lockdown rules allow people to entertain only one person outside of the home. However, no one opened the door to the officers who, among other things, noticed one night that about 100 hamburgers were delivered from McDonald’s.
After they finally get a search warrant and go in, the police find “Granny’s Exotic Bar” menus with drinks ranging in price from $ 26 CAD to $ 1500 a bottle of liquor. The prosecutor told the court that lap dances were offered for $ 46.
The police fined the people at the party a total of $ 17,000, as they arrested Mr. Musagi.
Mr. Muwasagi’s lawyer and brother, Bobby Musagi, told the court that it was just a party that got out of control after the guests brought uninvited friends.
Judge Gordon rejected this argument, saying that when she is hosting a party: “I don’t have stripper poles. I don’t have chairs for people to watch. I don’t charge. I don’t charge for alcohol. I don’t have POS devices connected to my cell phone.”
(Asked for comment, Bobby Mufasaghi did not respond.)
As for Judge Gordon’s transition to the realm of hypothesis, Isabelle Grant, professor at Peter A. Allard Law of the University of British Columbia, said that “it is unusual for a judge to comment on responsibility for a crime that was not before a court.”
She said it might be a result of the mood at the moment: “The judge reflects to some extent the indignation that everyone feels about controlling the behavior of others. I think people are very frustrated.”
Even if someone dies of Covid-19 after an illegal party, Professor Grant said it is unlikely that any host or organizer will be charged with premeditated murder, let alone indicted. It would be impossible for prosecutors to prove that a victim had contracted the virus during the event and not elsewhere, she said, before or after it, she said.
But more broadly, she said Canada’s history of prosecuting people for spreading HIV through unprotected sex indicates that criminal law is not the best tool for enforcing public health measures.
“We have seen that disproportionately affects blacks and indigenous people,” she said. “We have now reached a point where people are starting to realize that he may have been misled and that he had not done much of anything to slow the transmission of HIV.”
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Ian Austin was educated in Toronto, lives in Ottawa and has written reports on Canada for the New York Times over the past 16 years. Follow him on Twitter @ianrausten.
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