Reported by: Michael Menzies :  Lakeland Connect  – September 6, 2023

An Alberta law firm has been heavily involved in proceedings related to contravening public health orders during lockdown measures, and have earned several wins for their clients.

Grey Wowk Spencer LLP has been defending clients who were charged with breaking public health orders during provincial restrictions between 2020-2021.

Lawyer Leighton Grey was part of the representation team arguing on behalf of Ingram v Alberta.

The Ingram decision on Aug. 1 in a Calgary courtroom said that some public health orders were invalid because they originated from the cabinet, instead of the chief medical officer – at the time Dr. Deena Hinshaw – which is required by law in the act.

“This is the first and only decision of this kind in Canada, in which a court has said to a government – a pandemic government if you can call it that – your powers have limits,” said Grey on his Twitter page following the ruling.

“And if you try to exceed the limits of your powers that you created, through your own legislation, we’re going to tell you that. And it’s not going to stand.”

Now many individuals that were charged with breaking these measures are not going to face persecution.

By showing that the public health orders were not carried out by the right individual, a series of decisions have followed.

Ty Northcott held the “No More Lockdowns” rodeo near Bowden, Alberta in May 2021.

With Lawren Wowk as part of the representation team, Northcott was found guilty before the Ingram decision was levied.

But his sentencing was stayed in late August, meaning he won’t be sentenced, after the Ingram decision.

“It doesn’t consider the last two-plus years of what this has cost Mr. Northcott. Not just him but his relationships with friends, contracts (and) his revenues,” Wowk told CTV News.

“The stay of proceedings is a great result – he’s successful, but I don’t know if it makes him happy.”

Perhaps the most visible flouter of these rules was Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church in Spruce Grove, who continued to hold large in-person church congregations, and was held in jail for 35 days in 2021 after refusing to comply with what would have been his release conditions.

Both himself and the church were represented by Hart Spencer and on Aug. 30 they were acquitted.

“These cases have been hanging over himself and the church for just about three years, and that’s not easy for anybody,” Spencer was quoted as saying after the verdict.