Charge against Super A Foods related to Covid-19 is stayed
Super A Foods in Hay River is no longer facing $5,175 in fines for allegedly violating a public health order related to Covid-19 earlier this year.
According to court documents, the grocery store was charged by the NWT’s Covid-19 Secretariat under the territory’s Public Health Act in March.
The store was facing one charge of allegedly failing to comply with public health orders “to take or refrain from taking any action to decrease or eliminate risk” on February 17. The summary offence ticket carried a fine of $4,500 along with a $675 surcharge.
That charge was stayed by the Crown late last month.
“After reviewing all of the evidence in the investigation file, I came to the opinion, as prosecutor, that there simply was not sufficient evidence to prove the allegation against the company,” prosecutor Roger Shepard told Cabin Radio in an email.
“As there was not a reasonable prospect of conviction, a decision was made to file a stay of proceedings.”
Super A Foods did not return Cabin Radio’s request for comment.
The Monkey Tree Pub is now the only NWT business facing a charge for violating public health orders related to Covid-19. The Yellowknife pub was issued a ticket totalling $5,175 for allegedly exceeding indoor capacity limits on a Saturday night in November 2020.
The pub is fighting the charge. The case is scheduled to go to trial on October 6.
During the Covid-19 public health emergency in the NWT, which was declared in March 2020 and ended in April 2022, the territory’s Covid-19 Secretariat issued 73 summary offence tickets for violations of public health orders.
Of those, 69 – each carrying a $1,725 fine – were issued to individuals. Two $500 tickets were issued to individuals for knowingly providing false information to a public health officer. Two $5,175 tickets were issued to businesses (the Monkey Tree and Super A).
Of the 73 cases, 24 were withdrawn by the prosecution, seven voluntarily paid fines prior to a court date, 33 were found guilty in their absence, and nine are still before the courts.