If police were to cease their 24-hour presence at his boarded-up restaurant, there’s little reason to believe Adam Skelly wouldn’t make another attempt to re-open.
That was the Crown’s position Friday at a hearing requesting Superior Court Justice Jessica Kimmel enact a statutory injunction barring the controversial restaurateur — and his supporters — from attempting to do so.
“The idea is that he would decide tomorrow, or the day after, to go ahead and violate his bail conditions to make a point,” Crown Attorney Ananthan Sinnadurai said during the virtual hearing.
That request was granted Friday evening which, once enacted, would order Skelly, his corporation and all others to comply with the Reopening Ontario Act at all Adamson Barbecue locations in Toronto — lest they be found in contempt of court and subject to immediate fines and/or imprisonment.
While Skelly’s Etobicoke location is now closed, his Leaside and Aurora, Ont. restaurants remain open.
Skelly gained both adulation and infamy last week after publicly re-opening his Etobicoke restaurant, defying provincial lockdown rules and subsequent Toronto Public Health shutdown orders.
Before dawn on Nov. 26, police changed the locks, preventing Skelly from re-opening for a third day.
Permitted access to a workshop behind the restaurant, Skelly broke through a wall and brought trays of food into his closed eatery, kicking down a locked door to allow streams of supporters inside and putting him under arrest.
Expanding the restraining order beyond Skelly, Sinnadurai argued, was necessary as the restaurant continued to operate for hours after he was taken away by police.
The Crown also described numerous attempts over the past week by persons unknown to break into the boarded-up restaurant, which remains under 24-hour guard by paid-duty Toronto police officers hired by the city.
Citing the urgent public health situation, the crown wanted a seven-day deadline for Skelly to respond to the order, but Geoff Pollock — representing Skelly — said that was unreasonable.
“It’s a novel situation, it’s novel legislation,” Pollock told the Sun, describing the Reopening Ontario Act as untested and unprecedented
“It’s going to take a great deal of legal research to even determine if we even challenge the order.”
Pollock asked for Jan. 15, but Kimmel’s decision set a notice of motion deadline for Dec. 29.
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume