CONTACT YOUR MP: Free Pastor Coates and protect people of faith! Contact your MP, here.
EDMONTON, Alberta, March 4, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Despite an internal memo indicating that intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in the Canadian province of Alberta were lower in 2020 than in 2019, its premier backtracked on planned easing of additional restrictions Monday.
The ICU data, which was obtained by the Calgary-based Western Standard, shows that across the whole of the province most of the 16 reported ICUs — save for two which had slight increases — showed decreases in patients in 2020.
According to the Western Standard report, in 2020 there were 22,409 people overall put into ICU care for various causes. In 2019, there were 24,010 people admitted to ICUs in the province, according to the memo — roughly 1,600 people more than in times of COVID.
At its peak two months ago, Alberta had just over 100 people in ICUs connected to COVID-19, with just under 1,000 in hospitals. As of press time, that number stands at 48 in ICU, with only 251 in hospital, and 4,649 active cases.
On Monday, the Alberta government under United Conservative Party (UCP) Premier Jason Kenney announced that the province was moving to Stage Two of its re-opening plans, which was promised if hospital numbers were under 450.
However, almost all the affected sectors of the economy — hotels, increased retail capacity limits, community/banquet halls, and conference centers — were removed from Stage Two without notice. This came even though hospital numbers on Monday were almost half the amount of 450.
News of the apparent keeping of restrictions by Kenney was met with frustration from some media in the province, and from one of Kenney’s own caucus members, UCP MLA Drew Barnes from Medicine Hat.
In a statement posted to his Twitter page Tuesday, Barnes, who has been critical of COVID-19 lockdowns, blasted the last-minute changes and “inconsistent” lockdown rules.
“I’ve heard loud and clear the frustration from Albertans since yesterday’s announcement of delayed reopening’s [sic] and partially lifted restrictions. I have those same frustrations. Many people have questions about some of the inconsistent rules and moving goalposts,” wrote Barnes.
Barnes also retweeted a report about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announcing yesterday that he was lifting his state-wide mask mandate and allowing businesses to fully re-open.
LifeSiteNews contacted the office of Premier Kenney to ask why his government backtracked on the planned partial reopening. As of press time, there has been no reply.
According to COVID statistics listed on the Alberta government website, overall, in 2020, there were less than 1,000 patients admitted to ICUs in Alberta as a result of COVID-19.
In total, Alberta has reported 134,052 cases and 1,890 deaths, with the average age of death at 82 years, the same as the province’s average life expectancy. This is out of a population of 4,428,112.
A total of 72.3 percent of all reported deaths attributed to COVID- 19 in Alberta were in people with three or more comorbidities. Only 4.6 of total deaths from COVID-19 were in people with no pre-existing health conditions.
Overall, according to statistics compiled by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), the survival rate in Alberta from COVID-19 is 99.96 percent.
The Alberta government, along with its health officials, repeatedly stated that the health care system in the province would be overwhelmed were it not for COVID-19 lockdown measures, which have been in place for almost a year.
Despite some restrictions being relaxed in recent weeks in Stage One, such as allowing restaurants to open, since early December, Kenney has not yet lifted a ban on families from gathering to see loved ones at their place of residence.
PETITION UPDATE (3/22/2021)
Pastor James Coates has been freed!
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, the legal counsel which has been representing Pastor Coates, just issued a statement saying that Alberta's Crown Prosecutors have decided to drop all but one charge against Pastor Coates, paving the way for him to be released soon.
This is a great victory, God be praised!
Please READ LifeSiteNews' latest article on this latest and unexpected turn of events for Pastor Coates.
While Pastor Coates will still have to stand trial for the one remaining charge in May, he will at least be free to prepare for the hearings, and to celebrate Easter with his family and congregation.
Thank you for taking part in this campaign advocating for Pastor Coates' release!
Of course, with a trial still pending, he's not out of the woods, yet. But, this is a gigantic step in the right direction.
During his trial, we will keep you updated as to his status and we will continue to support Pastor Coates.
We will also keep fighting to ensure that Canadian people of faith like him are never persecuted for exercising their right to worship freely.
Until the trial finishes, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition in solidarity with Pastor Coates. Thank you!
PETITION UPDATE (2/24/2021) -
There have been two important, recent updates to the ongoing imprisonment of Pastor James Coates in Alberta, Canada.
First, Alberta's Premier, Jason Kenney has spoken out about Pastor Coates' incarceration.
Please READ LifeSiteNews' article about Premier Kenney's intervention, here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/alberta-premier-who-jailed-christian-pastor-claims-he-is-protecting-fundamental-freedoms-of-religion
And second, Pastor Coates' wife addressed a crowd of supporters at the jail in which her husband is being held, saying in part:
"People keep asking us what can you do for us? Open your churches. Open your churches! Take a stand for the Lord Jesus Christ and take a stand for the people! Love them, open the doors, that’s what we need to do right now."
To read about Mrs. Coates visit to see her husband at the Edmonton Remand Center and her full remarks, please CLICK on the following news article from LifeSiteNews: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/wife-of-jailed-candadian-pastor-tells-supporters-the-best-way-to-protest-is-to-open-your-churches
Then, please SIGN and SHARE this important petition. Thank you!
Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church in Alberta, Canada has been ARRESTED for refusing to comply with extreme and likely unconstitutional government Covid regulations that ban people from gathering to worship in their church of choice.
You read that right: Even churches aren’t exempt from Trudeau Liberals’ all-out attack on peoples' freedoms in the wake of this pandemic.
But, Pastor Coates needs to be released immediately, and MPs must take steps to rein-in the extreme Covid regulations which provincial governments are using as an excuse to trample on essential freedoms.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition and STAND WITH PASTOR COATES.
Send a strong message to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Justice Minister Lametti, as well as to all Members of Parliament and to Canadian Provincial Premiers, that this CANNOT stand.
Some government officials are hoping to make examples out of faith leaders like Pastor Coates, who refuse to comply with unreasonable government demands to close-off places of worship to their own congregations.
That's why he remains in custody to this day.
But, no Canadian should ever face jail time for exercising their God-given, Charter-guaranteed rights, and action MUST be taken.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition.
NB: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE FROM CANADA TO SIGN THIS PETITION.
Pastor Coates, who leads Grace Life Church in Edmonton, Alberta, originally suspended in-person services and church gatherings in good faith and out of concern for his congregants after Trudeau’s government first introduced Covid restrictions last spring.
However, the church reopened over the summer when it became clear that Trudeau’s shutdowns were here to stay, and that congregants would be indefinitely limited in their worship size or again banned from in-person worship altogether under their guidelines.
After Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, enacted new restrictions in November that cap all faith-based gatherings at 15% of building capacity (a major blow to churches that wish to resume worship for their members), Pastor Coates kept Grace Life’s doors open to anyone and everyone who wished to proceed with normal practice of their faith.
However, this simple exercising of congregants’ Charter rights was met not only with governmental resistance, but an unreasonably disproportionate legal response.
Pastor Coates was arrested and then quickly released on February 7th for practicing his faith alongside congregants, and arrested AGAIN on February 16th for the same reason.
Pastor Coates remains in custody today for refusing to allow Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his health officer Deena Hinshaw to infringe upon his congregants’ civil liberties any further.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which calls for the release of Pastor Coates, and asks Canada's MPs to take action to ensure that Canadian people of faith, like him, are NEVER persecuted for exercising their right to worship freely.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Alberta govt jails pastor for holding COVID-non-compliant worship services' -
The JCCF is currently suing the Alberta government over passing Bill 10 last year. The Public Health Act is attacked for “providing sweeping, extraordinary, and nearly unlimited powers to any government minister at the stroke of a pen.”
The JCCF has continually blasted the Kenney government for continued lockdowns and the impact they have had on Albertan’s lives, pointing out the extremely high survival rate.
The legal group is currently involved in many COVID-19 related legal cases in Alberta, and Canada-wide, representing people and groups fighting fines and charges.
The JCCF is notably representing jailed Pastor James Coates and his Grace Life Church (Grace Life) in Spruce Grove, Alberta.
Coates was jailed for ministering to his congregation in a manner that violated Alberta’s COVID rules limiting church size and mandatory mask-wearing. His bail conditions stipulate that he agree to not hold church services, which Coates refused to do.
In a February 22 column, JCCF president John Carpay ripped Kenney for his “unconstitutional” COVID laws, directly blaming Kenney for Coates being behind bars.
“Pastor Coates is following the science. Jason Kenney is not,” wrote Carpay.
As for Kenney, he said it was “unfortunate” that Coates is in jail, but that he “flagrantly” violated COVID rules.
However, in a letter sent to Kenney, Carpay said Coates was — despite claims from Kenney — “jailed” for holding a church service.
“For the first time ever, Alberta has arrested and incarcerated a Christian minister for the ‘crime’ of holding a church service,” read a portion of a letter addressed to Kenney regarding Coates from Carpay.
The JCCF letter addressed to Kenney demands that Alberta’s COVID orders be scrapped and Coates be released at once.
“The Charter envisions a ‘free and democratic’ society. Under your permissive watch, [Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health] Dr. [Deena] Hinshaw has been permitted to turn Alberta into a police state where neither freedom nor democracy are apparent. It is past time for the Alberta legislature to review all of Dr. Hinshaw’s Orders. And it is far past time for your government to cease its religious persecution,” wrote Carpay.
For respectful communications, please contact:
Office of the Alberta Premier – Jason Kenney
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 780-427-2251 (Edmonton)
Toll free: 310-0000 (in Alberta)
Phone: 780-427-2711 (outside Alberta)
Contact link for Alberta Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA)