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Third pastor arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID lockdowns

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon.

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A Calgary baptist preacher has become the third religious leader arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID-19 regulations over church attendance.

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon. He had been the subject of repeated warnings from Alberta Health Services for having too many people at his services.

Earlier this month, on the church’s website, Stephens vowed to contiue services.

“Our actions are borne out of theological commitments to the Lordship of Christ and his instruction to the church as revealed in Scripture,” wrote Stephens.

“This, above all, is the reason why we have been gathering and will continue to gather … the consequences may be severe. But we stand before Christ rather than bend before consequences.”

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.

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

Calgary police at the AHS issued a joint statement saying Stephens was “arrested this afternoon for organizing a church service that was held today at Fairview Baptist Church, located at 230 78 Ave. S.E., that did not comply with public health orders, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. Police did not enter the church during today’s service.

“CPS has received repeated calls from concerned citizens regarding church services held at Fairview Baptist Church over the past several weeks. Last weekend, Pastor Stephens was proactively served a copy of the Court of Queen’s Bench Order obtained by AHS,” the statement said.

“The pastor acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with today’s service, ignoring requirements for social distancing, mask-wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees.

“For several weeks, AHS has attempted to work collaboratively with leadership at Fairview Baptist Church to address the ongoing public health concerns at the site. It is only when significant risk is identified or continued non-compliance is noted that AHS resorts to enforcement action.

“Once again, CPS acknowledges it is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we are still in a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”

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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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Lynda Allaby

    May 17, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    Would SOMEONE tell me why Muslim churches are allowed to be filled to capacity and still open, with no repercussions, but Baptist, etc. are having pastors arrested and churches closed????
    I DON’T care if Muslim churches, etc. are OVERFLOWING & breaking every mandated law, but close ALL churches, NOT JUST CHRISTIAN CHURCHES!!!!! I deserve the right to know WHY some are open, while Christian churches & pastors are taking the brunt of UNNECESSARY Communist-like crackdown!!! WE THE PEOPLE have a right to know!!!!

  2. Lee Morrison

    May 17, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    I wonder how many other regulations Pastor Tim Stephens believes that his religious belief gives him the right to flout. Speeding in a school zone? Drinking alcohol in a public place? Left Coast states with certitude that crowded church gatherings haven’t led to any spread of COVID infections. I wish that I had his gift of claivoyance.

  3. Left Coast

    May 17, 2021 at 10:11 am

    Brokeback Kenny seems to hate Christianity . . . why is that?

    How many people came down with the Wuhan Flu in the Baptist Church?
    I know the answer to that question . . . NONE!

    Long past time this stupidity ended . . . a few hundred died from the Flu . . . don’t hundreds die from the Flu EVERY YEAR?

    Meanwhile . . . 1000s are wandering through Costco, Safeway, BestBuy fondling the merchandise and waiting in long checkout lines . . . but that’s perfectly fine cause they are powerful Corporatistas who give out Campaign Donations to Politicians.

  4. Steven Ruthven

    May 17, 2021 at 3:17 am

    Premier Kenney reminds me of a smug know it all, being in the political game for a long time, & tough as nails.

    Has the CPC Party backing him. O’Toole also. I believe, Jason Kenney gained the Premiership under False Pretenses a behavior intended to deceive others. Which he did quite well. In Canada it’s acceptable for a politician to lie, deceive, manipulate. Hell look at Justin Trudeau. What a candidate says during an election run up, what they say they are going to do in an election run up, needs to be accountable & followed through if elected.

    Kenney said a lot during the campaign, said a lot of what he was going to do for Albertans & we all know not long after the election. Jason Kenney showed his true nature he was a Staunch Federalist.

    If Kenney was working a corporate job at a public company & did that to the shareholders. Kenney would be held accountable under the law, but not in politics nope, not in politics.

  5. John Stirling

    May 16, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    IF the UPC are going to survive, Kenney has to go. Why can’t they see this. The man has no integrity, only a lust for power! Why didn’t he replace Hennshaw; Notley’s plant; who sabotaged him. Now he has lost the next election for the UPC. Albertans don’t forgive traitors.

  6. Bryan

    May 16, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    I knew a fellow who moved to Canada from Russia because he thought Canada was more free. After living here for three years, he said there was more freedom in Russia. He and his wife moved back to Russia.

  7. John Lankers

    May 16, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    How ironic that in 2020/21 people in Russia enjoy more personal freedom and have more rights than people in Canada.

  8. Seven-Zero-One

    May 16, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    Alberta is the only country in Western world that arrest 3 Pastors. Congrats Alberta.
    I blame Albertans for choosing to be a part of Colonist Federation.

    *Sovereignty for Alberta*

  9. Matt C

    May 16, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Apart from masks and distancing at the checkout lines, it’s business as usual at Walmart, Canadian Tire, Home Depot…..etc.
    Why is buying lawn fertilizer considered more essential than coming together for fellowship and to worship God?
    Does anyone know what the percentage increase in suicides in alberta was between 2019 and 2020? In the United States, it was approximately a 100% increase…. from a little over 20,000 in 2019 to over 40,000 in 2020.

  10. Mars Hill

    May 16, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    William (Bible Bill) Aberhart and Earnest Manning must be spinning in their graves. For those not aware both were God fearing Pastor/Evangelists and Premiers that led Alberta for about 35 years. I feel those responsible for jailing our Pastors have spit on their graves.

  11. Josh

    May 16, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    I wonder if Kenney and the AHS forget that Alberta never forgets. It’s been around 40 years since our prime ministers father affected Alberta and people today are still angry for it. What makes you think dragging Alberta’s government, doctors, and polices name through the dirt is gonna do? We may have more than a generation never again trust to words of those mentioned above.

  12. Erik Tarves

    May 16, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    The Soviet Union / Nero proved beyond a doubt that when christians dig their heels in, nothing will stop them, not jail or hungry lions

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News

Edmonton anchor fuming after pride flag ripped down

Karstens-Smith said she has called police and urged people to share her post so the culprit can be found.

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An Edmonton news anchor is furious after a Pride flag was ripped down from its pole outside her home.

“I am LIVID right now,” tweeted Breanna Karstens-Smith, a Global anchor.

Karstens-Smith

“This just happened at my house. Someone came and tore down our Pride flag. No one touched it for a year when it was a Canada flag but now that it’s for pride this happens.

“THIS IS WHY WE NEED PRIDE MONTH.”

Karstens-Smith said she has called police and urged people to share her post so the culprit can be found.

Pride flag torn down

“And they are greatly mistaken if they think we’re not putting another one up. Ordering a new flag pole now. Flag is thankfully fine but we got it from @thequiltbagyeg and would love to see more in our city,” she tweeted.

“Our flag is back up and our house feels right again. Thank you for the kind messages of support. The best part is hearing from people now putting up their own flags. I’d love to see photos of them. Happy Pride.”

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

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Regina chamber CEO calls COVID-19 protesters ‘narrow, dimwitted, racist’

“I personally do not support the anti-mask movement at all. I find their views narrow, dimwitted, racist and teetering on the edge of outright lunacy,” said John Hopkins.

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Regina Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hopkins denounced COVID-19 protesters and their message in an email sent to the organization’s members.

“The anti-mask group in Regina are a very small but loud group. They have been protesting for months. They believe that they have a right to not wear a mask,” Hopkins wrote.

“Some are of the view that there are tracking devices in the masks and still others believe that this is a global conspiracy.

“…the anti-maskers have crossed the line. They have been harassing business owners, people on the street and now their latest target, kids at schools. In my opinion targeting kids is too far, way too far.

“I personally do not support the anti-mask movement at all. I find their views narrow, dimwitted, racist and teetering on the edge of outright lunacy. They certainly have the right to say what they want but the same rights and privileges extend to the rest of us….

“Racism is a vicious challenge that we need to address as a country, province and community. The time has come to act and stand up.”

The Western Standard asked Hopkins what harassment had occurred in Regina.

“There’s a candy shop on 13th Avenue,” Hopkins said.

“The business owner asked them to put on a mask and they refused and business owner refused to serve them.”

The incident from May 26 was watched almost 30,000 times on a YouTube video. The would-be customers were standing outside on the deck of the business across from the serving window.

“There has been some altercations between anti maskers and other people, actually on the street, I believe on Albert Street,” Hopkins said.

“And throughout the course of the last 14 months on, generally speaking, it’s just been people on the side of the street.”

Hopkins’ accusation of racism concerned comments made about Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab.

“There were some very troubling remarks about Dr. Shahab that the premier addressed. We were quite concerned about that… as well as other sort of comments on telling people to go home and that type of thing on some of the signs.”

At a December 14 press conference, Premier Moe said the “end was in sight” for COVID-19 restrictions, but he was “embarassed” at “racist”,”foolish”, and “idiotic” comments made by a protester at the legislature. In a video posted days before, a man tried to say Shahab’s name a few times unsuccessfully before commenting, “can’t get these foreigners’ names right.”

Regarding students, Hopkins said, “I’ve heard that they were at a school and that they were talking to kids at a school this past week….and parking in the school parking lot….I just think going to the school is a bit much.”

Hopkins said masks help.

“It blows my mind that somehow when the Chief Medical Officer – not only one, but many across the country, and in fact, globally – are saying, wear a mask, I think it’s pretty straightforward wearing a mask is one of the things that can help people stay safe…Even though we’re making headway against the virus, it’s still out there that masks aren’t doing anything. And I find it just bizarre.”

The email was posted on the Freedom Alliance Facebook page by Kevin Volk.

“Check out this crap that was sent to me,” Volk wrote, urging people to phone the chamber to express their displeasure.

Volk told the Western Standard he had a cleaning business and had been a chamber member “for well over ten years.”

“This is just another slap in the face for business owners. The chamber has been pushing for businesses to remain closed even tho they are supposed to help businesses. They have done absolutely nothing for small businesses owners,” he said.

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

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Canadians hit with millions of dollars of COVID fines

Cabinet tabled in the Commons detailed enforcement actions under the Quarantine Act.

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The feds have issued tickets for close to $3 million for COVID-19 scofflaws who have refused to quarantine at hotels after arriving back in the country, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Other tickets handed out include fines for fraudulent COVID-19 test results.

Cabinet tabled in the Commons detailed enforcement actions under the Quarantine Act.

“I think it is important that we adhere to the public health advice that we are all getting, that we do our part as Canadians to try and protect our health care system,” Health Minister Patricia Hajdu earlier told reporters.

Records show a total 988 air passengers were each ticketed $3,000 for “refusing to go to government-approved accommodation” on arrival in Canada. The majority of tickets, 621, were issued at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport followed by Vancouver (194 tickets) and Montréal (173).

Cabinet on January 7 passed an order requiring all air travelers to prove they were COVID-19-free with tests taken a maximum 72 hours prior to arrival. An identical order for cross-border drivers was invoked February 22.

The Canada Border Services Agency found 62 travelers with fake tests, said the report, and four were each ticketed $3,000.

Another 9,003 travelers were cited for not having proof of a valid test, including 4,583 drivers and 4,420 air passengers.

“This would include individuals who did not test at all, who were in possession of tests outside the required 72-hour time frame, tests that did not originate from the required country of origin, tests that are suspected fraudulent and other reasons,” wrote staff.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair defended the enforcement.

“Cancel your vacation plans,” Blair told reporters February 12.

“Stay home. Respect the rules. We believe that through these effective measures, appropriate screening and the testing measures in particular that we have put in place coupled with robust and enforced quarantine orders, it is the best way to prevent variants from spreading across our borders into Canada.”

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

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