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Jailed Pastor Coates describes life behind bars

“I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get out. I was prepared to be there until May (when his trial starts),” Coates said.

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Pastor James Coates spoke about his prison experience Tuesday night, saying he feared he would never get out.

In his first lengthy interview since his release last week, Coates joined Danielle Smith Uncensored last night on the Western Standard Facebook and YouTube channels.

Coates, the pastor at GraceLife near Edmonton, was taken into RCMP custody on February 16 for repeatedly breaking Alberta COVID-19 regulations by holding services in his packed church.

He spent more than a month in prison after twice refusing bail conditions that would have seen him forced to stop preaching.

Coates was first thrown in confinement in the COVID-19 quarantine section of the Edmonton Remand Centre.

“Challenging wasn’t quite the word for it. I was in the cell for 23 hours a day, only let out for 15 minutes at a time for things like showering,” Coates told Smith on the show, which had garnered 25,000 views already by the time it ended.

He said fellow inmates “gave me some protection to learn the culture I was in.

“At the end of it I was looking forward to being with the guys in (general popuation).”

He said learning to adapt to prison life was challenging – like learning the sound of a clicking cell door meant food was being delivered. He said during the first two weeks, food wasn’t sufficient to keep him healthy and one day he couldn’t get out of bed as he felt dizzy. Coates said things improved when he learned how the canteen worked.

“I learned not to use certain words. You never call someone on the inside certain words,” said Coates, noting one of the people he was jailed with was in on an attempted murder charge.

“It was all a bit of a blur to me. But guys were actually quite good to me.”

Coates said his fame grew as inmates listened to radio broadcasts of his plight. He said he was also treated well by his guards, some of whom were “supportive.”

He also developed a close rapport with his cellmate who ended up calling him his “pastor.” The pair stay still in touch since Coates’ release.

“I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get out. I was prepared to be there until May (when his trial starts),” Coates said.

The show drew thousands of comments from all across Canada and North America.

Coates also blasted Premier Jason Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw for bringing in COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

“Kenney is not the man I voted for,” said Coates, predicting a UCP demise in the next election if the premier “doesn’t repent.”

When he was released from custody last week, the Crown dropped all the charges against Coates, with only one remaining public health charge to be heard May 3.

“I am growing weary of this ongoing battle. Let’s let the dispute play itself out (in court),” said Coates, adding he now feels like a “marked man” and “Public Enemy Number 1.”

He called on citizens to continue to protest peacefully to try and force the government to lessen the lockdowns.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: 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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Lawyer blasts Alberta sports facilities for vaccine passport policies

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

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Lawyer Derek From has sent a stern warning to sport facility operators Monday saying they are breaching the law by requiring parents and kids 12 and over to show their vaccine status.

A constitutional lawyer for 10 years with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, From is now in private practice at an Airdrie law firm.

From was retained by a group of parents who have kids enrolled in youth sports programs in Calgary and the surrounding area.

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

REP allows businesses to either choose to operate as usual if they implement a vaccine passport program or limit their attendance to one-third of their fire code capacity and abide by a number of other public health restrictions.

“Youth sports are supposed to be out of scope for these mandates according to the latest public health order,” From said in an interview with the Western Standard.

Last Thursday, public health order #43-2021 was rescinded due to “bad faith behaviour on the part of businesses offering youth activities and rogue municipal governments seeking to increase and stiffen the restrictions enacted by the Government of Alberta,” From states in the letter.

In its place, order #45-2021 was enacted making it clear that youth activities are out of the scope of REP.  

“This means that facilities that house youth sports are not allowed to use (vaccine) passports. They have to opt out of the passport program,” From said.

However, Calgary city council passed a bylaw that came into effect September 23 forcing businesses eligible for the REP to participate without choice including recreation facilities.

Calgary bylaw 65M2021 says “any person aged 12 years and older must show identification and either proof of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or a medical exemption from vaccine letter.”

“With (Mayor Naheed) Nenshi running interference on this issue, a lot of people were turned away from a number of facilities over the weekend,” From said.

“Essentially, they (city council) have left no one any choice in the municipality of Calgary including hockey rinks, even though it falls out of scope according to the province. Now a bunch of other surrounding communities are falling in line.”  

The legal letter demands these facilities stop enforcing any REP-related restrictions associated with youth physical, performance or recreational activities, and begin to follow the clear direction set out by the Alberta government regarding what falls in and out of scope for the REP.

“Youth physical activity, performance activity and recreational activity, where all participants are under the age of 18” is listed as outside of the purview of REP. This means that REP is not available for implementation in association with such activities,” the letter states.

“Thousands of parents are ready to have this fight for their kids across the province,” From said.

“If the letters aren’t enough to change the course for these facilities, we will start suing rinks and even the city (Calgary).”

From said he was sending the letter to Nenshi and Calgary council Monday.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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WATCH: Pawlowski arrested at Calgary airport

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

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Controversial Calgary Pastor Artur Pawlowski is back behind bars again.

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

He had been out of the country for four months.

Details on why he was taken into custody haven’t been revealed.

Pawlowski has been repeatedly ticketed and jailed for breaking provincial COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

He has recently been on a speaking tour in the US.

more to come…

source: streetchurch facebook

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

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Norway goes back to life as usual before COVID

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-related domestic restrictions.

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Norway lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions this weekend in an effort to return to normal.

“Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life,” said Erna Solberg, Norways’s prime minister at a press conference.

Neither vaccination status nor a negative test result was required for citizens to enter nightclubs and restaurants which saw throngs of people heading to their favourite hangouts en masse.

Saturday marked the first time capacity limits were lifted in bars and restaurants in more than 500 days. Revellers young and old took to the streets with rowdy celebrations.

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a small but growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-19-related domestic restrictions. Sports venues, bars, restaurants and other businesses will be permitted to return to full capacity and will no longer require social distancing or masking.

According to the Institute of Public Health, Norwegian vaccination rates sit around 76% for one dose and 67% are considered fully vaccinated.

Solberg still encouraged citizens to get vaccinated and said those who contract COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate to avoid transmission.

“Even though everyday life is now back to normal for most people, the pandemic is not over,” Solberg said.

Although some restrictions will remain in place for those arriving in Norway from countries with higher rates of infection, travel restrictions will also be lifted, the government said.

“In short, we can now live as normal,” Solberg said.

Denmark was the first country in the European Union (EU) to lift all corona virus restrictions on September 10.

“The vaccines and the great efforts of all of Denmark’s citizens over such a long period are the foundation for why we are going strong,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter just before the country opened up.

After seeing nearly three-quarters of adults fully vaccinated and experiencing low rates of infection and death in August, the Danish Health Authority declared the virus is “no longer a critical threat to society.”

Britain lifted much of its COVID-19-related restrictions over the summer.

As of September 23, more than 48 million people in the UK have received their fist does – 89% of those over 16 years old. A total 82% of the population or 44 million people 16 and older have been double jabbed.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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No Media Bailouts

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