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Coroner investigating death of New West COVID-denier Mak Parhar

Cause of death has not yet been determined
Mak Parhar, centre, shown here at Flatoberfest in Greenville, South Carolina in October 2020, has been found dead in Sapperton. Facebook/File

A COVID-denying New West man who has been on trial for violating federal quarantine legislation has been found dead.

The New Westminster Police Department has confirmed that patrol members responded to a call on Thursday morning to assist paramedics in the Sapperton neighbourhood.  Mak Parhar was found deceased.

“Upon our members arriving, it was learned that Mr. Parhar was deceased,” said a statement from the NWPD. “A cause of death has not been determined, and this investigation has been assumed by the BC Coroners Service.”

Last month, Parhar posted a video online in which he said he was experiencing a variety of symptoms, including a sore throat and fatigue. During the video he was coughing and spitting phlegm out of his car window.

A vocal COVID-denier and anti-masker, he stated he didn’t have “CONVID”, saying that "CONVID doesn’t exist. In his most recent video, he stated he was feeling a bit better.

At the time of his death, Parhar was in the midst of a trial in B.C. Supreme Court on three counts of violating federal quarantine legislation.

Parhar was charged under the Quarantine Act after he refused to self-isolate upon his return from a flat Earth conference in Greenville, South Carolina in October 2020. The then 47-year-old was charged with three counts of contravening a section of the Quarantine Act, which required him to self-isolate for 14 days upon re-entry into Canada.

“Despite being reminded of the federal legislation that requires travellers to self-isolate under the Quarantine Act, and receiving a violation ticket, Makhan Singh Parhar refused to comply and continued leaving his residence,” said a 2020 press release from the NWPD. “On Nov. 2, 2020 at approximately 11 p.m., the New Westminster police arrested Makhan Singh Parhar for repeated violations under the Quarantine Act.”

On Nov. 1, 2020, Parhar attended a rally in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, where he was introduced as a “no new-normal, anti-lockdown warrior.” During an eight-minute speech, he said “people die all the time,” but they’re not dying of COVID because “COVID doesn’t exist.”

Parhar first made headlines in March 2020 when the City of Delta suspended the business licence for his yoga studio, after it failed to adhere to COVID-19 regulations such as physical distancing.