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Burnaby businesses blanketed with fake ‘cease-and-desist’ orders over COVID-19 rules

Businesses warned to not fall for these fakes
fake anti-masker cease
These notices have been received by Burnaby businesses.

Burnaby business owners are being warned to not fall for fake notices threatening legal action for following and enforcing COVID-19 rules.

“I am the witness of the law serving you a lawful document: Cease and Desist Order,” reads the notice, which then tell the business owner to stop enforcing COVID-19 rules including those around masks and social distancing.

The notices then threaten the owners with being reported and prosecuted by the “military tribunal.”

It adds, “These violate human rights and are crime against humanity.”

A business owner from the Kingsway area in Metrotown told the NOW they had received the notice and that others had them pasted on their windows.

The notices have been posted in other Metro Vancouver areas too.

On Facebook this week, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart posted images of some of the notices businesses have received from people believing they have lawful authority because they follow common law and are citizens of the Sovereign Republic of Canada.

"To be clear, these documents are absolutely fake and meaningless," Stewart said in a post. "Anyone can create a document, using various legal terms out-of-context, add in a bit of Latin for effect, and declare themselves ‘Queen of the Sovereign Republic of Canada,’ but that doesn't make it so." 

Stewart’s post goes on to note that the person behind the latest cease-and-desist orders calls herself the Commander-in-Chief of the Sovereign Republic of Canada.

With his tongue firmly in cheek, he says he’s posting the information “in case you missed the coup.”

As of this week, some provincial health orders have been loosened as Phase 2 of B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan. However, masks are still required indoors in public spaces.

According to the B.C. government, masks are required for everyone in many public indoor settings, as outlined in the EPA mask mandate order

There are exemptions for:

  • People with health conditions or with physical, cognitive or mental impairments who cannot wear one
  • People who cannot remove a mask on their own
  • Children under the age of 12
  • People who need to remove their masks to communicate due to another person's hearing impairment.

The mandatory mask order could be removed July 1 and replaced with a recommendation to wear masks indoors under Step 3 of the province’s restart plan.

Masks could be made a personal choice starting Sept. 7 in Phase 4, if cases and hospitalizations decline and vaccinations thresholds are reached.

- with a file from Kyle Balzer and Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News