fbpx
Connect with us

News

UPDATED: Judge delays decision on bail for Coates

The Crown asked not to be named over safety fears.

mm

Published

on

Pastor James Coates will have to wait one more day to learn if he will get bail.

Justice Peter B. Michalyshyn, in the Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench, made the ruling Thursday afternoon. Coates was represented by the Justice Centre for Constitution Freedoms.

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.

“This matter violates Pastor Coates’s Charter rights … and disobeys his God. Its justification is suspect at best, and based on theory and not evidence,” Kitchen said.

“The court has had well over half a year to put together evidence for the imposed health order, and the condition of release can only be imposed upon conviction which has not taken place.”

“Pastor Coates is not a public health threat, and won’t hurt anyone or commit a crime,” he said, adding the condition “is a stain on the courts.”

The Crown – who asked not to be named over safety fears – argued Coates’s breach of undertaking was valid, regardless if he signed, though Kitchen found that charge “incredibly weak.”

 Erin Coates, the pastor’s wife, said in an affidavit her husband could not abide by the conditions “in good conscience.”

“These beliefs include the necessity of the whole congregation gathering physically, in person for Sunday morning services,” Erin wrote in the affidavit.

She said failure to hold Sunday services would be “an act of disobedience to Christ.”

“The restrictions imposed by the (Chief Medical Officer of Health) are hurting Grace Life congregants far more than COVID ever could,” Erin wrote.

“It would be amount to fearing man instead than fearing God.”

Erin said her husband has lost weight in jail and is having problems with his neck. He is only let out of his cell twice a day for 15 minutes at a time.

Erin said her eldest son, not fathered by James, celebrated his 18th birthday on February 25 and was “heartbroken” when the pastor wasn’t around for him to legally change his name on that day.

Coates, of GraceLife Church, was arrested by the RCMP last month and in two court appearances has so far refused to commit to a judge he won’t do it again.

He is not schedule to go to trial until May.

Edmonton Courthouse Photo by Alex Dhaliwal, Western Standard

In a letter  to Premier Jason Kenney, the JCCF pleaded with him to free Coates and also asked him to “assume responsibility for protecting the Charter rights and freedoms of Albertans, and cease allowing the Chief Medical Officer to violate them by health orders that are not reviewed by, or approved by, the elected Members of the Legislative Assembly.”

Kenney has declined to get involved.

But last April, the government did admit they have freed certain criminals from their jails. The justice ministry said it had released all 32 offenders behind bars for failing to pay fines and let offenders serving a weekend jail sentence to serve their time on house arrest.

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.”

In prison since two weeks, Coates risks another two months in prison if his bail is not lifted.

The RCMP said it had tried to work with Coates to no avail.

“We’ve been consistent in our approach of escalated levels of enforcement with Pastor Coates, and we were hopeful to resolve this issue in a different manner” said Insp. Mike Lokken.

“The Pastor’s actions, and the subsequent effects those actions could have on the health and safety of citizens, dictated our response in this situation.”

The church has continued to hold packed Sunday services while Coates has been in jail.

The RCMP were on scene and said pandemic laws continue to be broken, but no further legal action has been taken.

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. 

Dahiwal is an Edmonton reporter for the Western Standard

News

O’Toole says his carbon tax is ‘not a tax’, denies breaking promise

And he said he didn’t break his promise to kill the hated Justin Trudeau carbon tax because with his tax, the money doesn’t go to the government.

mm

Published

on

Federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says his proposed new carbon tax is “not a tax”, and that he didn’t break his promise to kill the Justin Trudeau carbon tax because his carbon tax’s revenues will be managed by bankers appointed by him, and not be held in government accounts.

“Well I’ve always been consistent on wanting to eliminate Mr. Trudeau’s carbon tax, and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said on CTV’s Question Period on Sunday.

O’toole on ctv’s question period

“The low carbon savings account we’ve proposed will be kept by consumers, not one cent goes to government.”

In a shocking flip-flop, O’Toole tore up his leadership campaign’s signature promise to end carbon tax last Thursday, and will be campaigning on a large, re-branded carbon tax in the next federal election. O’Toole written pledge with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation included a clear commitment to not replace the Trudeau carbon tax with “any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.”

O’Toole is proposing to charge a $50/tonne carbon tax on everything from gasoline to home heating fuel, and use the money to fund government-controlled bank accounts, which Canadians can use to purchase government-approved, environmentally friendly products.

Canadians would pay a carbon tax beginning at $20 per tonne, increasing to $50 a tonne, but the Tories promised it would go no higher than that. However, O’Toole promised emphatically that there would be no carbon tax at all under his leadership.

When running for party leader, O’Toole signed a Canadian Taxpayers Federation pledge to oppose the federal carbon tax. The vow said: “I, Erin O’Toole promise that if elected Prime Minister of Canada, I will: Immediately repeal the Trudeau carbon tax, and reject any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.”

O’Toole repeated his pledge to fight against any consumer carbon tax during the campaign for the Tory top spot.

The O’Toole carbon tax may also leave less money in taxpayers pockets than the Trudeau plan does.

Under the Trudeau plan, a portion of the federal carbon tax is rebated to taxpayers to spend as they see fit. Under the O’Toole plan, revenues will go into personalized “green” savings accounts that Canadians could only spend on government-approved environmentally friendly products.

People could then draw on those accounts for “things that help them live a greener life,” according to the Secure The Environment document. 

“This will not be a government-run program, it will be something that we view the industry doing in a similar way that the financial services industry developed and innovated with the Interac system, which people use far more now than then traditional old currency,” said O’Toole on CTV.

“This will be an account that is then tracked, it will not be big government, it will be actually run in a similar fashion to a loyalty-type program.

“I hear all the time from all parties on the spectrum saying every Canadian needs to take their role in a climate change plan. This allows that through full transparency, and for people to have their low carbon savings account and make smart decisions.”

The flip-flop angered the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“O’Toole is insulting our intelligence, of course this is a carbon tax,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Federal Director.

“If you’re going to break your promise and hammer Canadians with a carbon tax at least have the spine to admit it.

“Instead of playing word games with Canadians, O’Toole should live up to his promise and fight carbon taxes.”

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

Continue Reading

News

Feds say costly Super Bowl ads needed to make Canadians aware of COVID

Authorities earlier credited millions in advertising, not blanket news coverage, for alerting Canadians to the risks of COVID-19.

mm

Published

on

The feds paid almost $182,000 for COVID-19 safety ads aired during the Super Bowl, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

That works out to $1,347 per second of taxpayers’ money for 135 seconds of Feb. 7 ad time. The total cost was $181,879.

An estimated 8.8 million people in Canada watched a portion of the game.

Authorities earlier credited millions in advertising, not blanket news coverage, for alerting Canadians to the risks of COVID-19.

A $120-million government-wide marketing budget included funding for “behavioral scientists,” according to a July 16 report.

“Up to $3.7 million is related to estimated salary costs for up to 16 (employees) that will support this initiative, including behavioural scientists and dedicated resources in the digital communications, public opinion research and advertising teams,” wrote staff in the Annual Report On Government Of Canada Advertising Activities.

Ken McKillop, assistant secretary to cabinet, testified June 16 at the Commons government operations committee the advertising blitz was intended to “get the news to Canadians” about the pandemic.

MacKillop credited the Privy Council’s own $49.5 million ad budget with “encouraging social distancing,” a claim disputed by committee members.

“COVID’s on the TV every second, every newspaper, every Facebook feed, everything, it’s Covid all the time,” said Conservative MP Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West):

  • MP McCauley: “Everyone knows about social distancing. Everyone knows there is Covid going on. Do you find it justifiable to spend the $50 million on something every single person knows about?”
  • Assistant MacKillop: “Well you know, you’re not wrong. People know about it because we’ve advertised.”
  • MP McCauley: “No, I think because it’s on the news cycle 24 hours a day. I’m asking, do you think this is a fair use of taxpayers’ money to advertise about something that every single person in the entire world knows is going on right now?”
  • Assistant MacKillop: “I do think it’s worth the money to advertise to Canadians on health and safety and what we’re asking them to do. Again, the virus has been unpredictable.”

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

Continue Reading

News

O’Toole wants carbon tax placed on Chinese imports

“It’s certainly something we’re interested in,” Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said.

mm

Published

on

A day after flip-flopping on Canada’s carbon tax, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole says the Liberals should slap one on imports from China, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Most Canadians don’t want to see Canadian jobs being shifted to China where they don’t respect the climate change commitments democratic countries are making, where their aluminum, where their steel is five, six, seven times more carbon intensive than the incredible production in the Saguenay region or in British Columbia or Ontario,” said O’Toole.

“That tariff will price out some of these bad actor countries’ products.”

The Conservative Party proposed the carbon tariff in a document, Secure The Environment.

“We will study the imposition of a carbon border tariff which would reflect the amount of carbon emissions attributed to goods imported into Canada,” it stated.

Access To Information records indicate the Department of Environment has researched the proposal for five years.

Department of Industry managers, in 2016 testimony at the Commons trade committee, said they had no way of punishing importers that pollute. Chinese steel mills produce more than 10 times the greenhouse gas emissions of Canadian plants, about 598 kilograms of carbon for every tonne of steel, by official estimate.

“It’s certainly something we’re interested in,” Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said.

“While we are very interested in the idea – we are working on the discussion with the Americans and with Europeans – I think anybody who says that’s something you could do in the very short term doesn’t really understand how it works.

“We are very positive with respect to the potential for border carbon adjustments, but I do think folks need to understand how complicated that discussion is. In order to actually put in place a border carbon adjustment you either need to have alignment between Canada and the United States – for example, on carbon pricing – or you need to be able to have agreement about how you’re going to impute carbon pricing that is associated with either investments or regulation.”

In a shocking flip-flop, O’Toole tore up his leadership campaign’s signature promise to end carbon tax Thursday, and will be campaigning on a large, re-branded carbon tax in the next federal election.

O’Toole is proposing to charge a $50/tonne carbon tax on everything from gasoline to home heating fuel, and use the money to fund government-controlled savings accounts, which Canadians can use to purchase government-approved, environmentally friendly products.

Canadians would pay a carbon tax beginning at $20 per tonne, increasing over time to $50 a tonne, but the Tories promised it would go no higher than that. However, O’Toole promised emphatically that there would be no carbon tax at all under his leadership.

When running for party leader, O’Toole signed a Canadian Taxpayers Federation pledge to oppose the federal carbon tax. The vow said: “I, Erin O’Toole promise that if elected Prime Minister of Canada, I will: Immediately repeal the Trudeau carbon tax, and reject any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.”

O’Toole repeated his pledge to fight against any consumer carbon tax during the campaign for the Tory top spot.

The O’Toole carbon tax may also leave less money in taxpayers pockets than the Trudeau plan does.

Under the Trudeau plan, a portion of the federal carbon tax is rebated to taxpayers to spend as they see fit. Under the O’Toole plan, revenues will go into personalized “green” savings accounts that Canadians could only spend on government-approved environmentally friendly products.

People could then draw on those accounts for “things that help them live a greener life,” according to the Secure The Environment document. 

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

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Share

Trending

Copyright © Western Standard New Media Corp.