Province of Ontario v. Rulton

Health Rulton owns and operates a small business in London, Ontario called Spirituality in You Healing Center. The shop, located in East London and nestled among pawn shops and cheap motels, has a clientele that includes homeless and marginalized people. Ms. Rulton placed a sign on her front door to assure customers who are unable to wear a mask that their human rights would be respected while shopping in her business and they would not be asked their reasons for not wearing a mask. Her sign states: “No Mask! No Problem! We don’t ask Questions cause it’s none of our business ♥”. About 95% of the people who attend Ms. Rulton’s business do wear a face covering or mask.

Ms. Rulton has also complied with the City’s requirement to post a sign on the front door of her store which states in bold lettering, “Face Covering or Mask is Required.”

Despite this, the City of London issued Ms. Rulton an $880 ticket for posting her own sign communicating respect for those exempt from wearing a mask. City bylaw officers even threatened to return to Ms. Rulton’s store every day and issue $880 fines to her or the employees of her small store unless Ms. Rulton removes her sign. The City claimed that Ms. Rulton is not complying with the Reopening Ontario Act, though it has not told Ms. Rulton what specific section her sign is allegedly violating. Ontario’s regulations list numerous exemptions from wearing masks, including for individuals with “a medical condition that inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering”.

On October 21, 2020, the Justice Centre sent a warning letter to the City of London warning of its illegal censorship of Ms. Rulton and Spirituality in You. The City of London did not respond to the Justice Centre. It has not issued Ms. Rulton or Spirituality in You any further tickets.

The Justice Centre will be defending Ms. Rulton against the City’s $880 ticket. The trial date has yet to be set.