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North Bay decorator guilty of 36 counts of violating COVID-era lockdown

A news release from North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit on Thursday said Alexandra Stewart was found guilty in connection with her defiance of COVID measures in reopening her business, Stewart’s Decorating. (File) A news release from North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit on Thursday said Alexandra Stewart was found guilty in connection with her defiance of COVID measures in reopening her business, Stewart’s Decorating. (File)
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A North Bay decorator who gained notoriety during the COVID-19 pandemic for refusing to follow public health directives has been found guilty of all but two of the 38 charges she faced.

A news release from North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit on Thursday said Alexandra Stewart was found guilty in connection with her defiance of COVID measures in reopening her business, Stewart’s Decorating.

The 36 offence dates were between January and May 2021. The Ontario Court of Justice dismissed two other charges in its decision June 3.

After repeated warnings from the health unit, Stewart was ordered to close her business to all but online sales in a motion dated April 17, 2021.

Stewart repeatedly refused to enforce COVID-related restrictions requiring customers to wear masks and enforce physical distance requirements.

A restraining order was granted May 21 of that year to enforce the health unit’s orders. Less than a month later, on June 11, the order was lifted as the province eased pandemic rules.

On Thursday, the health unit said enforcing health directives is a key part of their mandate.

"The Ontario court of Justic entered convictions on all charges, totalling 36 offence dates, with the exception of two charges that were dismissed,” the health unit said in a news release.

“The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit continues to protect and promote public health in accordance with its mandate under the provincial public health statutory regime, including progressive enforcement and prosecution of pubic health offences if necessary."

Correction

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the business as a caterer, not a decorator.

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