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Judge orders Prince George nightspot closed until COVID restriction lifts

Lambda Cabaret to re-open April 8, same day proof of vaccination requirement gone in B.C.
(Pixabay photo)

Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN

A B.C. Supreme Court Justice has ordered a Prince George nightspot to remain closed for the next 3 1/2 weeks.

Issued Friday by Justice Sharon Matthews following a hearing in Vancouver, it says Lambda Cabaret cannot open its doors until April 8 - the same day the requirement that proof of vaccination be shown to enter restaurants, bars and other indoor venues is to be lifted.

It appears Lambda is living up to the court order.

“Lambda Cabaret is excited to announce that we are re-opening Friday April 8th with ZERO MANDATES! We can hardly wait to see you all again in April!,” the club’s management says in a posting on social media.

Northern Health applied for the court order after the nightspot on Third Avenue near Dominion Street repeatedly violated closure health orders issued by the agency.

Beginning in early February and about the same the so-called Freedom Convoy converged on Ottawa and a large rally in its support was held at Exhibition Park in Prince George, Lambda opened for business in defiance of a provincial health order.

A sign at the doors made it clear it would not be enforcing the requirement for so-called vaccine passports or requiring patrons to wear masks and went on to cite the bill that led to the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act as well as a handful of other pieces of legislation as the reason it would not be adhering to the measures.

A closure order issued on February 9 was rescinded eight days later when liquor primary premises were allowed to reopen but another one was issued two days later after Northern Health inspectors observed security guards admitting patrons without requesting proof of vaccination.

Lambda continued to operate anyway “openly boasting ‘Zero Mandates’ on its social media page,” Northern Health said in the application.

Trouble with Lambda dates back as far as September 2021, when it was cited for failing to check for proof of vaccination and requiring that its staff wear masks.

By October 2021, it had closed for renovations and then reopened in February despite the provincial health order prohibiting bars and nightclubs from doing so.

Matthews issued the court order after hearing from lawyers representing Northern Health and Lambda. Learn to Earn Bartending School and Consulting Ltd. and the business’ owner Linda Allen (now Wolf) were also named as defendants.

Matthews also ordered the defendants to pay the $3,500 cost of filing the application.