local restaurant owners await verdict

Local restaurant owners await verdict

The trial of the owners of the Buck and Joe’s Restaurant in Wingham has been put over until January 31 to set a date for a verdict.

Stephen and Joanne Hill are facing several charges related to failure to comply with the Health Protection Act regarding COVID mandates. Stephen and Joanne have pleaded not guilty and their defence was presented by Stephen Hill in Provincial court in Goderich on Thursday.

Public Health Inspector Patrick Landry told the court that the Health Unit had received complaints from people in the community that the restaurant was not complying with COVID protocols and that he visited the restaurant on three occasions starting in the fall 2021 to look into the complaints. Landry testified that Hill told him several times he would not enforce vaccination requirements and he considered that segregation.

A second health inspector who was with Landry, Chris Boyes, described Hill’s demeanour as adversarial and said they were being recorded and had microphones put in their face. Boyes says Hill made it clear again he would not comply with vaccine mandates.

Hill’s defence consisted of four videos of the visits of the health inspectors to his restaurant and he summed up by saying he was willing to cooperate but the Health Unit was not, and he would shut down the restaurant if they were faced with a fine.

A date for the verdict is scheduled to be set on January 31.

Buck and Joe’s Restaurant on Josephine Street in Wingham (Photo by Adam Bell)

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