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Alberta Premier Danielle SmithDave Cournoyer / Wikimedia Commons

EDMONTON, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) — The Alberta Crown Prosecutions Service (ACPS) has said that in light of a recent court ruling that determined that politicians violated the province’s health act, Albertans currently facing COVID-related charges will likely not face conviction and will have their charges stayed.  

On Wednesday, the ACPS in a statement said that “there is no longer a reasonable likelihood of conviction in relation to Public Health Act charges involving the contravention of the disputed orders from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.” 

“Subsequently, ACPS will be taking appropriate steps to deal with these matters in due course,” the ACPS added.  

At the end of July, a judge from Alberta ruled that politicians violated the province’s health act by making decisions regarding COVID mandates without authorization. 

The decision has put into doubt all cases involving those facing non-criminal COVID-related charges in the province. As a result, no less than 14 people facing charges, including Pastors James Coates and Tim Stephens, who both were jailed for violating COVID rules, will likely see their charges stayed. 

According to CBC News, ACPS prosecutor Karen Thorsrud verified that she will not call for any further evidence in the cases against Coates or his Gracelife church, saying she will “invite the court to acquit both defendants of all charges.” 

Stephens praised the news that his charges would be soon dropped, thanking God.  

“All glory to God that the last charge against me and our church has been dropped. These past few years have demonstrated the faithfulness of our God. Christ meant it when he said, ‘I will build my church. Jesus Christ is Lord of all. He is worthy,” posted Stephens on X (formerly Twitter) Wednesday.  

Lawyers involved in helping Coates and Stephens likewise praised the news.  

“We are pleased to report that due to the successful result in the Ingram case, Pastor James Coates, Grace Life Church, Pastor Timothy Stephens, Fairview Baptist Church, Southside Baptists, and Ty Northcott are all found NOT GUILTY of their Covid lockdown charges. God is Good!,” posted Leighton Grey on X late on Tuesday.  

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which helped Stephens and Coates, welcomed the news as well.  

“Thanks to this court ruling, Crown prosecutors are no longer continuing to prosecute other Albertans who have been assisted by the Justice Centre since 2020, including Pastor James Coates, Grace Life Church, Pastor Timothy Stephens, Fairview Baptist Church, and Ty Northcott and his ‘No More Lockdowns’ rodeo rally,” said the JCCF in a press release Wednesday.  

Coates made international headlines in 2021 after being jailed because he kept his church open contrary to COVID-19 health rules. He recently recounted his ordeal in jail, noting that all he was doing during the COVID shutdown, which the government deemed illegal, was “opening our doors” for worshippers as “Christ” commands.  

Coates was not the only Albertan pastor to draw the ire of the government for flouting its COVID measures. 

Under former Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s leadership, Christian pastors Artur Pawlowski and  Stephens were also jailed for similar reasons as Coates.  

While Stephens charges will be stayed, Pawlowski is soon set to hear his sentencing from this trial this September, so it is unlikely his charges will be dropped as he has already been found guilty.  

Stephens spent a combined 21 days in jail. In 2021, Stephens was tracked down by a police helicopter and arrested and charged a second time by members of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) for allegedly breaking COVID-19 health rules.   

The pastor had his church doors shut by police on June 5 but continued conducting services nonetheless, albeit in secret.  

After Kenney stepped down from his role as premier, Danielle Smith took over and fired the province’s top doctor Deena Hinshaw and the entire Alberta Health Services (AHS) board of directors, all of whom oversaw the COVID mandates. 

Smith made headlines last October after promising to look at pardoning Christian pastors who were jailed for violating so-called COVID policies while Kenney was premier, and for apologizing to those who were discriminated against for not getting the COVID shots. 

“I can apologize right now. I am deeply sorry for anyone who was inappropriately subjected to discrimination as a result of their vaccine status,” Smith said. 

Smith was not premier, nor even an elected official, when the pastors were charged, and Smith won the leadership of the United Conservative Party (UCP) on a platform that was against COVID mandates after Kenney stepped down due to poor approval ratings.