ALBERTA (LifeSiteNews) – An Alberta judge decided not to send Canadian Christian pastor Artur Pawlowski back to jail despite a demand from the province’s health authority that he be put behind bars for nearly a month.
Despite no jail time, according to reporters present at the trial, the judge ruled that Pawlowski is banned from publicly criticizing COVID health orders, including on social media, unless he also promotes arguments in favor of the government’s orders.
In a decision handed down this morning in an Alberta court, Justice Adam Germain ruled that instead of jail time Pawlowski will be fined $23,000 along with probation and community service.
Pawlowski and his brother Dawid were in court for a sentencing hearing to hear Germain’s decision regarding charges against them for holding worship services at their Cave of Adullam church located in Calgary in the spring of 2021.
Dawid was handed a $10,000 fine along with one-year probation and like his brother, is banned from criticizing COVID health orders. The Pawlowski brothers have 36 months to pay the fines.
Today, Germain decided that a three-day jail sentence the Pawlowski’s served in the spring of 2021 would be included as time already served in jail.
At today’s hearing, Germain also handed down a small business owner Chris Scott 18 months probation as well as nearly $30,000 in total fines. Scott owns a small restaurant called the Whistle Stop Café, and has been fighting draconian health COVID rules which shuttered his business.
In July, Alberta Health Services (AHS) asked the court for a 21-day jail sentence against Pawlowski, claiming he “openly” flaunted COVID rules.
In September, AHS lawyer John Siddons argued that in addition to a 21-day jail sentence, Pawlowski should be fined $2,000 and pay $15,000 in costs. Siddons also recommended Dawid be jailed for 10 days.
At the September hearing, Pawlowski appeared virtually in court to argue against the pending jail sentence. He told a judge that he stood before the court as a “political prisoner of conscience.”
Pawlowski and his brother made international headlines after being arrested in a highway takedown in May for holding worship services at their Calgary church amid COVID lockdowns.
The pair served three nights in jail before being released on bail.
In June, a judge ruled that AHS had proved that the brothers were guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt of contempt” of court. This came after the brothers earlier breached an injunction order against them that said they would go to jail if they held church services.
Judge reprimands Pawlowski for calling gov’t officials ‘Nazis’
In the spring of 2021, Pawlowski, who is a Polish Immigrant, made international headlines for calling police and health inspectors making two unannounced health visits to his church “Gestapo Nazis.”
Section 176 of the Criminal Code of Canada makes it a crime to interrupt a church service and also to arrest an “an officiant” when they are returning home from service, but at that times churches in Alberta were subject to lockdown rules imposing strict capacity limits.
According to Rebel News’ reporter Sheila Gunn Reid, Justice Germain told Pawlowski that he did not have the right to refer to the health inspectors as “Nazis.”
Despite reportedly stating that the Pawlowski brother were “arrested in a spectacle” like in a “third world country,” the judge nevertheless accused the pair of having “reveled in their arrest.”
Germain also claimed today that Pawlowski made himself a type of martyr for going on a speaking tour in the United States.
Just a few weeks ago, Pawlowski was arrested by customs officials for offenses said to have occurred months ago upon returning home to Calgary from a tour of the United States.
Pawlowski spent the better part of July, August and September in America on his Courageous Faith tour, telling the crowds about his ordeals with police and health officials who targeted him for not following local COVID rules.