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Trial dates set for Prince George nightspot's COVID tickets

Ontario-based Lambda lawyer currently prohibited from appearing on the matter

Dates have been for a long-awaited trial over a pair of pandemic-related tickets issued to a Prince George nightspot 

During a hearing Monday, and with the help of a judicial case manager, Prince George Provincial Court Judge Martin Nadon settled on July 31 and August 2, but the proceeding was less than straightforward.

Saron Gebresellassi, who is representing the owner of Lambda Cabaret, now known as Club 1177, is currently prohibited by the B.C. Law Society from appearing on the matter. Based in Ontario, she is in the process of applying for a mobility permit, the court was told, and an articling student spoke on her behalf via videoconferencing.

Nadon turned down a request to adjourn the matter to June 12 to give Gebresellassi more time to sort out the issue. The articling student also told the court Gebresellassi was booked with trials until the end of November.

But Nadon agreed with Crown prosecution that the matter has been before the court long enough and asked a judicial case manager to set the matter for trial "as soon as possible." If Gebresellassi is unable to sort out her matters in time, she can apply for an adjournment, Nadon said.

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch issued two tickets to the nightspot on Sept. 25, 2021, or about 20 months ago, for alleged violations of COVID-related restrictions. 

Gebresellassi had also been seeking to have the trial heard in French. Nadon has turned down that request but has allowed an interpreter to sit in on the trial.

Gebresellassi had also been seeking to have a bilingual judge preside. On Monday, Nadon said he has not been disqualified from hearing the matter "but it doesn't have to be me," he told the judicial case manager.


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