BC man acquitted of hosting illegal gathering

The Democracy Fund client avoided a large fine after a trial victory.

VICTORIA: Bruce Jordan, a resident of Salt Spring Island, was acquitted last Thursday of hosting an event in a private residence contrary to temporary public health orders made under British Columbia’s Public Health Act.

Jordan was charged with the offence after a neighbour called the police to report a large gathering of people who were not following COVID-19 mandates.  

According to Alan Honner, TDF’s litigation director, the court acquitted Jordan because the crown failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the host of the event.

Honner, who represented Jordan, explained that there was no direct evidence that Jordan was the host of the event. While the trial judge was satisfied that Jordan lived at the residence in question and that an event was taking place, he was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Jordan was the host.

“A judge should not convict where the evidence is entirely circumstantial and other reasonable inferences can be drawn from the facts,” says Honner. “In this case, there were inferences available to the trial judge that were consistent with Jordan’s innocence, including the inference that someone else living at the residence hosted the event.”      

Had Jordan been convicted, he would have been fined $2,300. He was pleased with the judgment and is thankful to TDF’s donors who made his victory possible.

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About The Democracy Fund:

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education, and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education and supports access-to-justice initiatives for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.

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