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Multi-million dollar lawsuit against the City of Quesnel over vaccine mandate is dismissed

A court case filed against the province and the City of Quesnel by several former employees has been dismissed by a Supreme Court Justice in Prince George.

A group of 10 former employees, who were eventually terminated for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine, was suing for two million dollars each over a vaccine mandate that was issued.

Justice Nathan Smith also noted that the city, the province, and City Manager Byron Johnson were entitled to costs in the case.

The plaintiffs had questioned the effectiveness of what it called “an experimental” vaccine that carries severe risks, up to and including death, adding that it overrode their right to exercise informed consent in matters of medical risk-taking.

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The suit also said that the plaintiffs had suffered significant mental anguish, mental distress, anxiety, and injury to dignity and self-respect.

The City responded by saying that the court didn’t have jurisdiction over the defendants and that the union representing the employees had already filed a grievance on their behalf.

– I find that the amended NOCC (Notice of Civil Claim) discloses no cause of action against either the city or the province, and must be struck out pursuant to Rule 9-5(1)(a).

-Rule 9-5(1) gives the court discretion to stay an action or allow amendments to the pleadings as alternatives to dismissing the action. Although no party sought to rely on those alternatives, I have considered whether it would be possible to stay the action and give the plaintiffs an opportunity to amend the claim in way that raises, at least against the province, the broad policy and constitutional issues they seek to raise. However, I conclude that the way those issues are raised in this action ties them so closely to the employment relationship and its termination that it would not be possible to meaningfully separate them. The plaintiffs, or others who share their views, will have to raise those issues in a different proceeding.

-The plaintiffs’ claim against the city and the province is dismissed with costs.

-Mr. Johnson, the city manager, was also named as a defendant in this action. The amended NOCC deletes the claims made against him in his personal capacity and purports to delete his name from the style of cause. However, the removal or addition of a party requires an application and order under Rule 6-2(7)(a) of the Supreme Court Civil Rules. As Mr. Johnson was not properly removed as a party, the action is also dismissed against him and he is also entitled to costs, if and to the extent he has any costs separate from or additional to those of the city.

Files by George Henderson, My Cariboo Now

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