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.

Just Posted

Students from Cloverdale Catholic School sit on school grounds while they play music for residents of Bethshan Gardens. So far students from every grade have played for the seniors in a series of music performances. (Photo submitted: Clive Heah)
Students at Cloverdale Catholic School play for residents of Bethshan Gardens

Musical performances have been running since the beginning of May

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale in 2020. A new exhibit about FVHRS and Surrey’s train history opens at the Museum of Surrey June 2. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
New exhibition on Surrey’s train history to open at Museum of Surrey

Separate two-day event welcomes kids June 25-26

Shannon Claypool, president of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association, stands outside the Cloverdale Rec. Centre. The rec. centre has been set up as a mass vaccination site by Fraser Health and the Association has decided to cancel the rodeo in order to offer the fairgrounds for public parking. (Submitted)
Second year in a row it’ll be quiet on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds over May Long Weekend

Shannon Claypool says planning for next year is already underway

The City of Surrey partnered with the Work Zone Safety Alliance last year to remind drivers to slow down in construction zones. (File photo)
White Rock, Surrey motorists asked to slow down in ‘cone zones’

Provincewide campaign encouraging residents to be mindful of construction workers

Semiahmoo First Nation archeology manager Don Welsh (left) sifts through shell midden at a Crescent Beach site in August 2019. (File photo)
Semiahmoo First Nation to repatriate 200 ancestors

B.C. grant funding return of remains from Simon Fraser University

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read