CONTACT YOUR MP: Free Pastor Coates and protect people of faith! Contact your MP, here.
ALBERTA, March 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A prominent Canadian legal group fighting for constitutional freedoms and representing many individuals charged with various COVID-related offenses says that to date, many tickets are being dropped by Alberta Provincial Crown prosecutors.
“So far, all COVID-related tickets issued to rally demonstrators in Alberta that the Justice Centre has defended have been withdrawn by Crown Prosecutors before trial,” said The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) in a news release Tuesday.
Litigation Director for the JCCF Jay Cameron said that many of the COVID tickets issued will “never be prosecuted” due to them being issued under “unconstitutional” and “arbitrary” health orders.
“Public health officials are not the supreme law of the land – the Constitution is,” noted Cameron in the press release.
“A significant portion of the arbitrary and confusing public health orders which have so oppressed Canadian society are, on their face, unconstitutional and cannot be justified. As a result, many of the tickets issued for the supposed violation of such orders will never be prosecuted. We expect the mass withdrawal of Covid tickets to continue as prosecutors across the country correctly decide to stay charges.”
The JCCF represents almost 100 people who have been ticketed for “allegedly breaching public health orders” in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
The JCCF say that such charges include “allegedly participating in peaceful protests, not wearing a mask, providing services during lockdowns, not complying with public health guidelines on signage, and other issues surrounding the Charter freedoms to move, travel, assemble, associate, worship and express themselves.”
The JCCF has released an powerful video to accompany the news release about the continued rate of dropped COVID charges.
The video features parts of a speech given by its president John Carpay at a recent lockdown protest, along with video summaries of some of the COVID tickets withdrawn.
One highlight involves a $1,200 ticket handed to Bernie Driedger, who works as a primary care paramedic in La Crete, Alberta, for allegedly not wearing a mask in the town's small grocery store.
According to the JCCF, Driedger says a “nosy out-of-towner” went around town to take “pictures of La Crete residents and businesses because the majority of people refuse to wear masks.”
“I believe the photo was sent in to the provincial snitch line,” said Driedger.
Due to losing “trust in his fellow citizens” Driedger has moved out of the Le Crete community, and stated he received a three-day suspension from work because of the picture.
“On a personal level, I believe wearing a mask is unnatural, unsanitary, and predominately anti God…I believe it to be symbolic. Wearing a mask shows the world I am easily compliant and am a willing participant in orders unsubstantiated by proper science or reason. This also shows that if I give a little on my convictions here, maybe I will give more in the next rollout of unjust violations of our freedoms,” said Driedger.
The JCCF says his ticket has been withdrawn by the Provincial Crown Prosecutor.
Another COVID related fine dropped by the Provincial Crown Prosecutor involves the case of a Calgary man, Trevor Simpson, who was fined $1,200 for “allegedly not practicing safe social distancing, at a lockdown protest in Calgary on Boxing Day.”
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' -
According to Simpson, Calgary police were waiting until he was blocks away from the rally and alone. He was then blocked by “four Calgary Police Service officers on bicycles.”
“It was really outlandish to me that they would wait until I was no longer breaking the law to actually fine me!” said Simpson as stated in the JCCF news release.
“I told the police as they were writing the ticket that it went against my Charter rights and I did not believe the ticket was legal and fair.”
A week ago the JCCF released another powerful video calling out Alberta Premier Jason Kenney for COVID-related emergency laws that led to the recent jailing of Christian Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church.
Coates is the pastor of Grace Life of Spruce Grove, Alberta, and both he and his church are being represented by the JCCF.
Coates has been detained at the Edmonton Remand Centre, awaiting trial since February 16, after refusing to agree to bail conditions which block his release unless he agrees to not hold church services amid severe coronavirus lockdowns.
On March 5, an Alberta court judge dismissed an appeal to his bail conditions, meaning Coates will remain behind bars for another two months as his trial date is set for May 3 to 5.
CONTACT YOUR MP: Free Pastor Coates and protect people of faith! Contact your MP, here.