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Manitoba churches in court to fight against COVID-19 restrictions

WINNIPEG — Seven Manitoba churches are in court today fighting against public-health orders put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province. 

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a Calgary-based group representing the churches, says the restrictions are unjustified violations of charter-protected freedoms.

The churches are arguing their right to worship and assemble has been breached, causing "a crisis of conscience, loneliness, and harm to their spiritual well-being."

Under current health orders, church gatherings in Manitoba are restricted to 10 people or 25 per cent capacity, and everyone is required to wear a mask.

In a previous hearing, a lawyer for the province told court it's within the bounds of the legislature to grant the authority to the chief provincial public health officer to impose reasonable restrictions.

The centre has filed similar challenges in British Columbia and Alberta.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2021. 

The Canadian Press