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AHS drops contempt charges against Calgary pastor

The JCCF discovered AHS never served Stephens with the court order he was accused of having violated.




Contempt charges against a Calgary pastor arrested in front of his children for breaking lockdown restrictions have been dropped, says the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

The JCCF said the Alberta Health Services have said they will not be proceeding with the charges against pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church.

JCCF lawyers Leighton B.U. Grey Q.C. and James S. M. Kitchen, brought an Application to Strike the Contempt Application after discovering AHS never served Stephens with the court order he was accused of having violated.

“Faced with this undeniable evidence, AHS has conceded that continued prosecution and attempts to have Pastor Stephens found in contempt of court are hopeless. This drops the case against Pastor Stephens completely,” said the JCCF in a release.

On May 16, Stephens became the third Alberta pastor sent to jail for breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules.

Pastor James Coates, of the GraceLife Church, outside Edmonton, spent a month in jail after he was arrested by the RCMP for breaking lockdown regulations repeatedly. His case is still before the courts.

Pastor Art Pawlowski was arrested in Calgary for continuing to flout the regulations at his street chruch.

Stephens was imprisoned in the Calgary Remand Centre for 3 days before JCCF lawyers could secure his release.

“The arrest and confinement of Pastor Stephens was unlawful for two reasons. First, the Thursday, May 6, 2021 injunction, which originally applied to all Albertans who had notice of its terms, was amended by Associate Chief Justice Rooke on May 13 to only apply to Whistle Stop Café and individuals operating in concert with or under the direction of Whistle Stop Café or its proprietor. Pastor Stephens has no connection to either party.,” said the JCCF.

“Second, Pastor Stephens was never served with a copy of the court injunction, a prerequisite for the enforcement of an injunction. On May 9, 2021, Calgary Police Service (CPS) officers erroneously served a copy of the injunction upon another individual who is not Pastor Stephens. At no time did CPS ever serve the injunction upon Pastor Stephens.

“CPS confirmed their error. In consequence, AHS lawyers agreed to the discontinuance of the case against Pastor Stephens.”

Stephens has been ticketed several times for allegedly breaching Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s public health orders. The JCCF still represents him on these outstanding allegations.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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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  1. Steven Ruthven

    May 28, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Something isn’t right here ? Pastor Stephens was never served with a copy of the court injunction, a prerequisite for the enforcement of an injunction. There was really no need to confine the Pastor at the Remand Centre for three days. How much longer would he have been incarcerated if JCCF hadn’t of stepped in? Is there the possibility of an unlawful confinement suit against Dr. Hinshaw on this matter?

    Jason Kenney (Premier not for much longer, I hope) & Doctor Hinshaw, who Kenney gave way to much authority to. Have nothing to smile about, nothing.

    Albertan’s have showing their displeasure with you two. Resign !!

  2. CodexCoder

    May 28, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    They had no case, and violated protocol so if they had gone into discovery in court, they would have looked like the idiots that they are.

  3. Declan Carroll

    May 28, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    This is a disgrace. The Pastor should get his day in court. What the government has done is unconstitutional and they should have to justify what they have done in front of a judge. They should be forced to produce the evidence required to satisfy these emergency orders, but they refuse. Show us the receipts! This is more reasons for us to consider this entire situation a fraud. What we have here is persecution by way of harrassment because the government cannot prove its case in a fair and open hearing. Citizens have a right to have their concerns regarding government over reach heard in an open court. You can add this to the growing list of crimes commited by the government against the citizenry.

  4. Josh

    May 28, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Ahhh this is what happens when you act out of emotion (AHS and police). I thank God Pastor Stephen’s is free.

  5. R3

    May 28, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    AHS is out of control and must be stopped. They are evil.

    AHS CEO and President, Dr Verna Yiu the AB high priestess.


  6. Baron Not Baron

    May 28, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Kenney is in big damage control. Someone has finally gotten through him. But it is too late. He is toast.

  7. Left Coast

    May 28, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    During the PlanDemic no one has exposed themselves more than has AHS . . .

    A year ago we knew that the folks most at risk were the Seniors, especially those in Care Homes and those with co-morbidities.
    What did AHS recommend . . . Locking down the Healthy Population and closing many businesses, while basically Ignoring the most in danger, the Seniors. Then in their Abject Stupidity . . . repeated the process 4 TIMES, each time expecting a different result . . . these fools are not only Stupid, they are Dangerous to your wellbeing!

    Other Jurisdictions did it different . . . like Gov DeSantis in Florida.
    After the first Lockdown which changed nothing . . . DeSantis ordered all eyes on the Senior population in Florida. Infected Seniors were removed from their surroundings and given care where they would not endanger other residents.
    The under 60 population had minimal interference from the Govt.
    The benefit was that Kids went to school in August 2020, Beaches & Disneyland opened shortly after that and in spite of having the largest % of Seniors in the USA they had one of the lowest death rates.

    New York & NJ on the other hand sent infected Seniors back to their retirement homes and as a result killed 1000s . . . today we are discovering that they fudged the numbers to keep them much lower than they actually were.

    “Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.” Ronald Reagan

    “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Ronald Reagan

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Chu wants meeting with Gondek ‘to tell the truth’

Mayor-elect Jyoti Gondek told a city hall press conference she will not swear Chu in, when council meets for the first time on Monday.




Embattled Calgary Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu wants to sit down with incoming mayor Jyoti Gondek to plead his case about a sexual incident 24 years ago.

Gondek said Thursday she will refuse to swear in Chu during the first council meeting on Monday.

“I want her to hear the whole truth. I will provide that to her,” Chu told reporters at a press conference.

Chu also offered to sit down with other incoming council members — most of whom are calling for him resign — to explain his side of the story.

“I always work with anybody but they have only heard media reports … some of which has been untruthful,” said Chu.

“I will sit down in private with them and answer any question they have.”

He added he thought it would be a judge who does the swearing-in.

“I was duly elected by the people of Ward 4. I told the truth,” he said, adding was surprised at the amount of support he has received from Ward 4 voters in e-mails and letters.

Chu said this would be his last election as he was a proponent of term limits for councillors at three terms.

“The Sean Chu situation continues to get more disturbing,” Gondek said prior to the press conference.

“This is a travesty for the young woman that was courageous enough to come forward … she needs to have this taken seriously, and he needs to resign in order for that to happen.

“[Chu] can absolutely show up. He won’t be sworn in by me.”

In his only interview so far, Chu had told the Western Standard on Tuesday he had no intention of resigning, but did apologize to a woman he had a sexual encounter with 24 years ago.

Since then, pressure has mounted with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Gondek, most of the incoming council, and even local Conservative MPs all saying Chu should resign.

At the press conference, Chu apologized to the woman who was involved in the original incident and his family.

“My daughter is crying a lot. My children are going through a lot,” Chu said, asking for his family’s privacy.

“I’ve had CTV camping out at my house.”

Chu confirmed other details he told the Western Standard during the exclusive interview on Tuesday.

City of Calgary officials confirmed Chu won the election race in Ward 4 by a mere 52 votes after allegations surfaced last week of his involvement in August of 1997 with a girl who was just 16 at the time.

“This was nothing but a political assassination,” said Chu.

Chu, who has represented Ward 4 since 2013, also fired back at some media reports which he claims were completely wrong.

Chu, then a serving Calgary Police Services officer, said he met the unidentified girl at a pub near Macleod Tr. and 94 Ave.

At some point in their interaction, Chu caressed the girl’s leg, an incident that later earned him a letter of reprimand on his file.

Chu said the girl seemed interested in him so when he was off duty he changed into civilian clothes and went back to the pub to meet the girl.

The evening continued with Chu and the girl eventually heading to his home.

Chu “categorically” denied media reports that a gun was produced during the evening at his home. He said he checked his service weapon in at the police’s traffic office when he signed off duty.

He said at the home, the two had consensual foreplay before she asked to go home.

Chu also addressed a 2008 fight with his wife that ended with police responding and seizing a firearm.

The incident happened in February 2008, when Chu was running in a provincial election for the Progressive Conservatives in Calgary-Buffalo.

He said his wife ran to a neighbour’s after a verbal argument. Chu said his now ex-wife never intended to call police, but the neighbour did.

After consultation with the Edmonton Crown, no charges were laid.

“This was at the lowest point of my life,” Chu said, adding he sought mental health help after it.

“I have never threatened or harmed my wife or children.”

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013.

During the investigation, Chu underwent a lengthy lie detector test asking him questions about consent and if a weapon was used. Chu said he passed all the tests.

Premier Jason Kenney described the allegations as “appalling,” but said he didn’t think there was any way for the province to remove a councillor who hasn’t been convicted under the Criminal Code.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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WATCH: Vancouver restaurant served closure order for non-compliance with ‘Public Health Act’

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the closure order.




Another BC restaurant has been ordered to close its doors in the name of public health.

“I’m a mother of four,” restaurant owner Rebecca Matthews pleaded with health officials and police.

Corduroy Restaurant — nestled in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood — has been offering service to customers without checking their vaccination status against COVID-19.

Under the BC Vaccine Card, people are required to show proof-of-vaccination against COVID-19 in order to access a variety of settings, such as dining.

In response to Corduroy having potentially committed the crime of serving unvaccinated customers, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCH) sent environmental health officer Ryan Hammel — accompanied by Vancouver police — bearing a closure order for non-compliance on Wednesday.

“The operator is intentionally allowing the congregation of unvaccinated individuals at the establishment,” wrote the order, whilst listing off several more “health hazards,” such as “failing to comply with the Face Coverings Order.”

The closure order — signed by VCH medical officer, Dr. Michael Schwandt — says the establishment must remain closed until authorized by a medical officer.

Matthews told the Western Standard health officials showed up at her restaurant on Tuesday morning to “investigate some complaints.”

On Wednesday, Hammel served the closure order.

WATCH: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVQ1f8nhN2m/

“They wouldn’t even discuss anything with me,” said Matthews.

“We reduced our hours, we started doing counter service … these are all things that are — according to the provincial health orders — considered safe.”

Matthews said she’s looking into the closure order to determine how best to proceed.

“I have a family, but at the same time we still want to create a space for people that don’t have anywhere else to go … so we’re just trying to navigate the next steps in the best way for everybody, including my family. Our plan is not to just go away,” she said.

Wednesday is not the first time Corduroy has taken a hit for defying provincial health orders, as its license was suspended six months ago for offering in-person dining, when no such thing was permitted.

During a September 20 staff forum, the Chief Medical Health Officer of VCH, Dr. Patricia Daly, said vaccine passports in settings such as Corduroy’s are not intended to prevent transmission.

“The vaccine passport requires certain people to be vaccinated to do certain discretionary activities such as go to restaurants, movies, gyms … not because these places are high risk,” said Daly.

“We’re not actually seeing COVID transmission in these settings, it’s really to create an incentive to improve our vaccination coverage.”

A Go Fund Me has been set up for Matthew’s by a verified third party to cover legal fees so Corduroy can “continue to stand up for the rights of their patrons, their medical privacy and choice.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard

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Gondek appoints controversial Carter as chief of staff

He received $130,000 in severance for his six months as chief of staff for Alison Redford.




Incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek has appointed Stephen Carter, formerly Premier Alison Redford’s chief of staff and Naheed Nenshi campaign manager, as her own chief of staff.

Carter masterminded Gondek’s campaign and saw her come from well back in early election polls to an eventual easy victory over rival Jeromy Farkas.

Carter in February also threatened to sue the Western Standard when it published a story about a former Calgary city councillor filing an official complaint with Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer alleging Gondek used third-party funds to pay for a city-wide brochure mail-drop.

Almost immediately after publishing, Carter threatened Western Standard News Editor Dave Naylor with a lawsuit. He tweeted:

“That was quick: Ok. You will be getting a letter from our lawyer shortly. Straight to Jono? Does he defend you as well?”

We told Carter that any further correspondence should be directed to our lawyers. 

He then took to Twitter to brag about his impending lawsuit to shut the Western Standard up. 

Carter never followed through on his threats.

Carter was once famously referred to as “Chief of Stiff” by the Calgary Sun after he become embroiled in a scandal where he didn’t pay his bills.

The Sun reported a company owned by Carter, Carter McRae Events, “owes more than $600,000, most of it to the University of Calgary, and hasn’t coughed up a cent in court-ordered judgments.”

He resigned from Redford’s staff and received $130,000 in severance for his six months work.

Stephen Carter (photo credit: Calgary Sun)

“If that’s the full amount, that’s still pretty eye-popping,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith at the time.

“A six-figure severance for six months worth of work? An employee who voluntarily leaves should not get severance at all. This certainly doesn’t happen in the private sector.”

Carter, who had been Redford’s strategist in the 2011 Tory leadership race, became her chief of staff when she took office in October of that year.

He was also the mastermind behind Nenshi’s unexpected election victory 11 years ago.

Gondek also announced Amie Blanchette as deputy chief of staff, Catherine Seymour as operations manager and Allison Bates as communications advisor.

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