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RCMP lay charges against GraceLife church

The church’s pastor, James Coates, was jailed last month after he refused a bail condition that he stop preaching.

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The RCMP have laid more charges in the GraceLife church saga as its pastor still sits behind bars in solitary confinement.

“Last week, on March 4, the legal counsel for GraceLife Church was served with a Summons to attend Stony Plain Provincial Court on May 5, 2021.  GraceLife Church was charged as an entity for exceeding the 15 per cent allowable capacity for the services held on Feb. 21 and Feb 28., 2021, contrary to section 73(1) of the Public Health Act,” said RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott

“The Parkland RCMP supported the AHS investigation at GraceLife Church this past Sunday. The Church was non-compliant with the Public Health Order in that it was over the allowed capacity. The RCMP members were present for public safety and to support AHS, and did not go inside the church.

“Investigation continues into the church by AHS and supported by the Parkland RCMP. These charges are now before the court and further comments will not be available.”

The church’s pastor, James Coates, was jailed last month after he refused a bail condition that he stop preaching.

Coates has been denied bail on appeal and will stay behind bars until his trial in May.

Justice Peter B. Michalyshyn, in the Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench, made the ruling last week stating the pastor’s continued detention was “justified” and “necessary.”

“Pastor Coates is bound by the rule of law. His refusal to the condition of release and multiple noncompliances with the stated intent to continue concerns public safety,” Michalyshyn said.

Danielle Smith interviews Erin Coates

Coates’s refusal prefaced on his “strong interpretation of holy scripture” rather than an unwillingness to ensure the health of his congregation, he noted.

Coates was represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

In a Thursday bail hearing, Coates’s counsel James Kitchen argued the condition of release to stop preaching was a direct violation of Coates’s conscience and without legal precedent.

Since December, Coates has received numerous warnings and tickets from the AHS and RCMP for having up to 300 people at his services. Current law in Alberta says churches are allowed to open at 15 per cent capacity.

“The congregants of Grace Life hold strongly to their religious beliefs regarding the necessity of gathering in-person to worship and to minister to each other through fellowship and corporate prayer and worship, exercising their Charter freedoms peacefully,” said the JCCF.

“The Justice of the Peace ordered Pastor Coates released on the condition that he stop holding church services, a condition he could not, in good conscience, agree to. Pastor Coates is currently in jail, awaiting trial, as he will not be released unless he agrees to the condition, or the Prosecutor agrees to withdraw the condition.”

NDP leader Rachel Notley has taken to Twitter to voice her displeasure towards GraceLife Church.

“We cannot have open defiance of public health orders while the vast majority of Albertans do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Notley.

She urged the premier and the Alberta government to “step in and stop” those who continue to evade efforts to flatten the curve. 

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. mm

    Lee Harding

    March 11, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    To the best of my knowledge, Pastor Coates did not fly abroad over the Christmas holidays, unlike certain Alberta politicians. 🙂

    Jail? Seriously? And solitary confinement?

  2. Major Tom

    March 11, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    “Maintains le Droit?” Perhaps, more suitably…..”Maintains la gauche!”

  3. BabyItsColdOutside

    March 11, 2021 at 9:43 am

    WS,I am considering to cancel my subscription if this comment section is not fixed soon.

  4. Left Coast

    March 11, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Canada’s Constitution no longer matters . . .

    The Feckless RCMP keep proving how inept they are.

  5. Dick Barendregt

    March 10, 2021 at 4:03 pm

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News

Misery index places Canada in bottom ranks

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well.”

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Canada’s combination of high rates of inflation and unemployment have secured it the sixth most “miserable” advanced economy in the world.

Tuesday morning, the Fraser Institute released a study that ranked the International Monetary Fund’s top 35 economic countries.

With an inflation rate of 3.15% and unemployment rate of 7.72%, Canada’s 2021 Misery Index score is 10.88.

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well,” said Jason Clements, executive vice president of the Fraser Institute.

Fraser Institute

American economist Arthur Okun created the Misery Index to understand the level of economic strain felt on an everyday basis for regular citizens of a country.

Inflation and unemployment act as measures that drastically affect the costs of living that impacts economic well-being on an individual level.

Only five countries received worse scores than Canada, Spain in the last spot with a score of 17.61, followed by Greece (15.73), Italy (11.96) and Iceland (11.26)

Countries above Canada’s score include France (10.10), the United States (9.72), Australia (7.33), and the United Kingdom (7.17).

Japan (2.61) and Switzerland (3.57) received the top scores being the least miserable.

The Misery Index was prominent in policy discussions during the 1970s and 1980s, but fell out of the spotlight during the 1990s while inflation and unemployment was low.

“The fact we are again discussing the Misery Index and Canada’s high ranking on it is bad news for all Canadians, who will suffer as a result,” Clemens said.

“Governments across Canada, particularly the federal government, should prioritize those policies that will make Canadians less miserable by lowering inflation and unemployment.”

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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News

LETTER: Does Copping have scientific evidence to continue with vaccine passports?

“Surely our government would not discriminate against any Albertans without a sound scientific basis for doing so.”

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RE: Vaccine passports now mandatory in Alberta

My wife and I took it upon ourselves to get tested for immunity to the COVID-19 virus at our own cost. Several other couples in our community have done the same thing. The test is carried out by the Mayo Clinic so I think we can all agree it is done by a very credible organization.

Both my wife and I tested >250 which is the highest level of immunity that they register. It is also the same level of immunity they show on the most vaccinated people. 

With this in mind, I ask the Minister of Health and the entire UCP government, what is the scientific basis for your continuing to impose the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) to discriminate against us and restrict us from being able to participate in society?

Surely our government would not discriminate against any Albertans without a sound scientific basis for doing so.

Murray Woods
Linden, AB

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News

‘Galileo’ stockbroker loses COVID case

Grammond explained judicial notice of obvious facts is intended to ensuring plaintiffs with pointless claims do not “bog down the judicial process” with unnecessary arguments.

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A Montreal stockbroker who likened himself to Galileo and said COVID-19 wasn’t real had his case tossed out of Federal Court, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Courts make decisions based on evidence brought in each particular case,” wrote Justice Sébastien Grammond.

“Some facts however are so obvious courts assume their existence and no evidence of them is required. This is called judicial notice.”

Lucien Khodeir filed a federal challenge of Treasury Board vaccination orders for employees.

Khodeir was not personally affected by the orders issued last October 6. The court was told he works as a stock trader for CIBC World Markets.

Khodeir in his submission said vaccine mandates were unnecessary since the coronavirus did not exist, and proposed to call three expert witnesses.

“It is pure speculation,” said the court.

“In his submissions, Mr. Khodeir compares himself to Galileo who was persecuted in the 17th century for asserting that the Earth revolves around the Sun, a theory unanimously accepted today. Yet unlike Mr. Khodeir, Galileo buttressed the heliocentric theory with facts, especially his discovery of Jupiter’s moons.

“In contrast, Mr. Khodeir asks us to believe his assertions regarding the coronavirus without providing any tangible fact in support. The comparison is unfair to the great Italian scholar. Mr. Khodeir’s case has no scientific footing.”

Grammond explained judicial notice of obvious facts is intended to ensuring plaintiffs with pointless claims do not “bog down the judicial process” with unnecessary arguments.

“Over the last two years most people on this planet have been affected in various ways by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the court.

“It has become common knowledge COVID-19 is caused by a virus.

“Numerous trusted sources of information have repeated this fact to the point that it is now beyond reasonable dispute. There is a lack of debate on this issue in scientific circles.”

The Federal Court noted dismissal of the claim was unrelated to numerous cases awaiting trial in which vaccine orders are being challenged as unnecessary, intrusive and unconstitutional. None of the plaintiffs challenging vaccine orders have disputed the existence of the coronavirus.

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