Former casino CEO, wife absent in first court hearing in vaccine queue-jumping case


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Rod Baker, former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.

Great canadian gaming

Janet VanderMeer took 5½ hours at the Whitehorse Courthouse to listen to a former casino CEO and her actor husband explain why they went across the country to allegedly jump the vaccine queue in their tiny Yukon hamlet on the Alaska border .

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker did not leave for Ontario for their first court hearing on Tuesday afternoon. They were accused of breaking tickets to the Yukon quarantine rules on 21 January, ticketed at Whitehorse Airport, who were waiting for a flight out of the area following their vaccinations on the same day. But after the Crown Prosecutor agreed to the delay citing the ongoing discussion between the two sides, his lawyer asked for two weeks and got an adjournment.

Court delays at this stage are not uncommon, but White River First Nation member Ms. Vandermeyer, who leads her COVID-19 response, said she was disappointed in the moratorium.

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“It has not been resolved, it has not been forgotten,” Ms. Vandermeyer said.

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Ms. Vandermeyer said she shared a clinic waiting room with Bakers and her 72-year-old mother in palliative care that day, and the couple risked the elders to the community by their unpleasant visit.

Ms. Vandermeyer wants the couple to at least have a face-to-face video conference with their nation, so that they can see the tension that caused the strained community.

“I noticed that they have nothing less to do with them, not only with myself, but with my people, and possibly with some members of the community, and where they can occur,” she said.

The bakers have not made any public statements as the news of their alleged misuse made international headlines. He was initially ticketed with $ 2,300 in penalties for allegedly failing to self-immolate. For 14 days and reportedly failed to act as per his declarations upon arrival in the Yukon. These offenses were advanced so that they would face court hearings, where, if convicted, they could each spend six months in prison.

Three days after Baker received a fine in the Yukon, Great Canadian Gaming Corp., one of the nation’s largest gamblers, announced that Mr. Baker had resigned from the company he had headed for a decade. He assumed the role after his father’s large-scale acquisition of shares in the firm.

Bakers’ attorney, Jenny Cunningham, did not immediately respond to The Globe and Mail’s request for comment on Tuesday. Yukon’s Justice Department declined to comment on the case.

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