New Westminster COVID-19 conspiracy theorist charged for violating Quarantine Act after returning from U.S.

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      A Metro Vancouver man who has made controversial arguments against COVID-19 health measures has been arrested and charged for violating federal regulations during the pandemic.

      The New Westminster Police Department (NWPD) stated in a news release today (November 5) that on October 28, investigators started looking into the case of a resident, 47-year-old Makhan Singh Parhar, who violated the Quarantine Act after returning to Canada from the U.S.

      NWPD spokesperson Sgt. Sanjay Kumar explained in a news release that federal legislation requires travellers to isolate for 14 days regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.

      Parhar had been reminded of this requirement and he was also issued a violation ticket. However, he continued to refuse to comply by leaving his residence.

      Around 11 p.m. on November 2, officers arrested Parhar for repeatedly violating the Quarantine Act. He has been charged with three counts of contravening the Quarantine Act on October 31 and November 1 and 2.

      He is currently in police custody, and is scheduled to next appear in provincial court in New Westminster on November 16.

      “Violations of the Quarantine Act put others at risk,” Sgt. Kumar stated. “This is something we take very seriously.”

      News 1130 reported that Parhar had attended Flatoberfest 2020, a flat-earth conference held on October 24 in South Carolina about why the world is flat rather than a sphere.

      He had also reportedly appeared as a speaker at an anti-mask rally at Robson Square in Vancouver on November 1.

      CBC News has identified him as Mak Parhar, the owner of a hot yoga studio in Delta that had to shut down after the City of Delta suspended his business license in March.

      After he reportedly made several false claims about the coronavirus, including that the virus could not survive in the heat used in hot yoga classes, he refused to comply with a city bylaw inspector’s request to cancel his classes during the state of emergency.

      In April, he made a video as he entered the Royal Columbian Hospital to investigate the validity of COVID-19, which prompted B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth to call him a "narcissistic, self-centred idiot".

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.