Canadian veteran James Topp slapped with $4k fine, ‘reprimand’ for criticizing COVID jab mandates
A military judge stopped short of an absolute discharge, saying it would go against the public’s interest, but adding that the sentence would serve as ‘general deterrence and denunciation.’
(LifeSiteNews) – A notable former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who supported the Freedom Convoy has been hit with a $4,00 fine along with a “severe reprimand” for speaking out against COVID jab mandates by marching across Canada last year.
Former CAF member and veteran James Topp learned his fate in a New Westminster court Thursday after pleading guilty on November 14 to two counts of prejudice to good order and discipline in relation to him protesting a military COVID jab mandate.
Topp had made two videos in February 2022 that specifically called out COVID jab mandates. This was at the same time the Freedom Convoy protests of COVID jab mandates were taking place across Canada and specifically Ottawa.
The videos Topp made in which he said the government has no business telling one what should go into their bodies (COVID shots) showed him wearing his CAF uniform. The court ruled this was in breach of regulation. Topp said he was responsible for his actions.
His defense had sought a complete discharge and the prosecution wanted him fined $5,200 with a “severe reprimand.”
Military Judge Commander Julie Deschênes ruled that an absolute discharge of Topp would go against the public’s interest, adding that his sentence would serve as “general deterrence and denunciation.”
“What this means is that I must impose a punishment that would send a strong message for others to be deterred” from doing what Topp did, the judge said.
Topp gained inspiration from the Freedom Convoy and decided to trek from Vancouver to Ottawa on foot. He later kept on going to the East coast of Canada.
According to Topp, his top three main priorities were the repeal of COVID mandates, that people who were fired from their jobs for not getting the COVID jabs be reinstated, and that they receive restitution and repair.
Deschênes claimed that the case was not about vaccine mandates but “about the commission of two offences for making statements that were opposed to the Government of Canada policy.”