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Hope restaurant owners refusing to ask for vaccine passports could face arrest

Fraser Health is seeking an injunction to close down Rolly’s Restaurant in Hope and to call in the RCMP to arrest the owners if they continue to operate.

The agency has gone to B.C. Supreme Court to apply for an injunction, with a hearing slated to take place Wednesday (Oct. 20) morning in B.C. Surpeme Court in Vancouver.

Rolly’s Restaurant’s owners and staff have been refusing to follow along with the provincially mandated vaccine passport program that all licensed restaurants must follow in B.C. Diners being served at a table must now show proof of vaccination, and the onus falls on businesses to enforce the mandate.

But owners Muriel Young, Steven Young and Marlene Abeling have said repeatedly that they will not follow the order, despite daily fines from the District of Hope and daily visits from Fraser Health officers. They have even continued to operate with their windows and doors pasted with closure and suspension orders.

The civil court documents show that one order within the injunction asks for “RCMP to arrest, and/or remove from the restaurant any person who the RCMP have reasonable and probable grounds to believe is contravening or has contravened any order granted by the court in this proceeding.”

It also asks for the defendants to pay all costs. While the Youngs have been the face of the restaurant in media coverage recently, there are other owners named in the application: Nelson Insurance and Marstev Managment Co.

The application details multiple visits to Rolly’s between Sept. 13 and Oct. 16.

Fraser Health has fielded at least 25 complaints about Rolly’s refusing to enforce the passport program, and during the first few visits, there were attempts to educate the owners, according to the documents.

Complaints continued and the restaurant was given a closure order on Oct. 7, which was effective immediately. The restaurant has kept operating despite the order.

Moments after the notices were pasted on the door, staff were seen welcoming in more customers, and not asking for vaccine passports.

A rally started later in the day, and enforcement officers report being crowded by people and filmed with cellphone cameras. They were called “brainless puppets” and Nazi Hitler communists,” the documents state.

While RCMP said they would not assist with enforcement on Oct. 7, they changed their mind by Oct. 18 and informed Fraser Health they would enforce an injunction.

The defendants have five business days to respond. On Tuesday afternoon, there were customers in the restaurant and milling around the parking lot.

READ MORE: Owner of Hope’s Rolly’s Restaurant remains defiant after having business licence suspended


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Jessica Peters

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Jessica Peters
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