Saturday, April 10, 2021

Alberta government barricades GraceLife Church

RCMP raid GraceLife Church; JCCF ‘outraged’ by ‘unjustified violation’ of Charter | Western Standard - Alexander Dhaliwal: 

April 7, 2021 - "With the police’s help, Alberta Health Services (AHS) barricaded GraceLife Church (GLC) at dawn Wednesday, preventing access to the building until the church complies with Alberta’s public health measures. The church, just outside Edmonton, under Pastor James Coates, has been breaking COVID-19 lockdown regulations every Sunday by holding packed services.

"Coates recently spent 35 days in solitary confinement at the Edmonton Remand Centre after turning himself in willingly for breaking COVID-19 public health measures. He was released without conditions in advance of his trial on May 3.... NDP leader Rachel Notley rejoiced over Alberta Health Services taking further steps to enforce public health orders at GLC....

"According to an AHS press release, they have attempted to work collaboratively with GraceLife for several months to address the site’s ongoing public health concerns.... From July 10, 2020, to April 6, 2021, AHS has received 105 complaints from the public about GLC. AHS inspectors, who were denied entry by Church elders last Sunday, have conducted 18 inspections at the site since July 10, 2020, and violations were observed at each visit. There have been no outbreaks reported to health officials or confirmed during the course of the pandemic at GraceLife....

"Representing Pastor Coates and Grace Life Church, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms expressed outrage at the Alberta Government’s decision to enter and put up a double barrier wall around private church property today.... 'The Alberta government has known for many months that it will be called to publicly account before the judiciary for its lockdown destruction of the Alberta economy and trampling of Albertan’s civil liberties,” states lawyer John Carpay, President of the Justice Centre. 'The government has so far refused to justify the limits on worship and gathering. Health orders are inconsistent, differing from province to province, and arbitrarily created by one public health official who is under no obligation legally to advise the legislatures of the science and rationale which supposedly are the basis of the orders,' continues Carpay.

"The Justice Centre is in the process of filing a subpoena to require Alberta Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw to testify at the trial of Pastor Coates on May 3, 2021. The Alberta Government Crown Prosecutor is requesting the Court adjourn the May 3 trial, claiming the government needs until summer to assemble its evidence."

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