Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)

B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

A restaurant near the Nanaimo Airport has been ordered to shut down for failing to comply with COVID-19 public health orders, but the owner says he’s going to stay open.

RELATED: ‘Selfish, arrogant’: Industry association blasts B.C. restaurants defying public health orders

According to a Jan. 20 inspection report, Chakalaka Bar and Grill failed to create a written COVID-19 safety plan, post signs about mask-wearing or health checks, and place barriers between tables. The owner was ordered to address the failings, but a follow-up inspection found he did not comply.

“The premises is to remain closed until written approval to re-open has been granted by a health officer,” the inspection report said.

Chakalaka owner Dick Deschamps told Black Press Media he refused to create a COVID-19 safety plan because he believes COVID-19 is ‘no more deadly’ than the common cold. Deschamps did not provide evidence for his claim but said ‘friends’ and ‘scientists’ had come forward and proven the claim scientifically.

Scientific consensus has found that COVID-19 is, in fact, far more severe than the common cold. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that globally, 3,021,793 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported, whereas the World Health Organization estimates 290,000 to 650,000 people die of flu-related causes each year. There have been 141 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide compared to an estimated 1 billion cases of flu worldwide annually.

As of Friday, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control was reporting 555 active cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, 4,233 cases total, and 33 confirmed deaths.

RELATED: COVID-19 cases reported for Nanaimo flights, says disease control centre

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Island Health originally visited Chakalaka in September 2020 after receiving a complaint about multiple RVs parked on the property. An inspection of the site revealed adjustments made to the drinking water and sewage disposal systems were found to be in violation of the Drinking Water Protection Act and Public Health Act. Orders were issued mandating the owners take steps to achieve compliance.

“Compliance with the Drinking Water Protection Act is of critical importance to protect the health and safety of all users of the water system. Further, the lack of compliance with the Public Health Act related to the sewage disposal system presents a contamination risk to the area’s drinking water,” Island Health said in a statement.

“Despite significant efforts to work with the property owners to achieve compliance with applicable Acts and Orders, no progress towards compliance has been observed.”

Island Health is seeking a court-order injunction enforcing its orders tied to both the COVID-19 and water and sewer concerns. A hearing of the injunction application is set to occur in Victoria on April 23.

Deschamps added that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives him the ability to ignore public health orders and he will continue serving customers.

“I’m not fighting, I’m just staying open,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

The Vernon Vipers defeated the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3-1 to secure the top spot in the BC Hockey League Vernon pod Friday, May 7, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
VIDEO: Vipers beat Salmon Arm, clinch top spot in BCHL Vernon pod

Goaltender James Porter Jr. was a wall for the Vipers, who outscored the Silverbacks 3-1 Friday

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kelowna OK Tire closed due to COVID-19 exposure

The business will remain closed until May 11

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Most Read