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Yellowknife pub acquitted of breaking COVID-19 rules

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Canadian Press

Canadian Press

The Monkey Tree Pub sign is shown outside of the establishment in Yellowknife on Thursday, August 4, 2022.
The Monkey Tree Pub sign is shown outside of the establishment in Yellowknife on Thursday, August 4, 2022. Photo by Emily Blake /The Canadian Press

YELLOWKNIFE — The owners of a pub in Yellowknife say they’re relieved after they learned they wouldn’t have to pay a more than $5,000 ticket for violating Northwest Territories COVID-19 public health orders.

The Monkey Tree Pub was acquitted in Territorial Court of operating a dance floor on November 14, 2020, which was against requirements for restaurants and bars to stay open at the time.

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Deputy Judge Bernadette Schmaltz says she accepted the evidence of two liquor inspectors who testified the dance floor was open and roughly 15 people were dancing after midnight.

But the judge says the Crown failed to provide any evidence that the pub was given notice of the public health order.

As a result, she says she could not convict the pub of contravening that order.

The pubs co-owners say they are happy with the verdict and relieved the case is over.