Charges dropped against senior arrested for not wearing a mask on WestJet flight
Charges dropped against senior arrested for not wearing a mask on WestJet flight

Prosecutors have dropped charges against a 76-year-old senior with respiratory issues who was arrested after WestJet reported him to the police for not wearing a mask while on a flight last year. 

In June 2022, Alec Bialski was arrested by Calgary Police upon landing after the flight crew cited him for not complying with mandatory mask requirements. 

He was charged under the Canadian Aviation Regulations for not complying with the mandate after he took off his mask to take sleeping pills. 

After departing the plane, he was arrested by police and marched through the airport and held in detention despite having recently undergone a double hip replacement. 

“Despite the flight crew allegedly being aware of the Applicant’s physical difficulty with wearing a mask, they continued to harass the Applicant with repeated and unwarranted demands to don a mask,” court documents state.

Lawyers with The Democracy Fund argued that the treatment of Bialski was “cruel and unusual” and that his rights to “life, liberty and security of the person” were violated. 

The application also cited arbitrary detention, freedom of opinion and the violation of the applicant’s equal treatment before the law. 

“After the Officers placed the Applicant under arrest, they proceeded to march him across the

airport for approximately thirty (30) to forty (40) minutes,” the application claims. 

“Despite the Officers becoming aware of the Applicant’s difficulty walking long distances, the Officers provided no wheelchair as requested, nor an opportunity for the Applicant to stop and rest.”

As a result of the prosecutors dropping the charges, Bialski will not face any legal repercussions and his Charter challenge will also be dropped. 

Bialski was represented by Democracy Fund lawyer Sean Mihalcheon. 

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