CONTACT YOUR MP: Free Pastor Coates and protect people of faith! Contact your MP, here.
March 8, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A Canadian Conservative MP has warned that “[l]ocking healthy people down is not a sustainable answer to try to stem the tide of a virus, and only creates hardship for healthy people.” David Sweet joined the small but growing list of politicians in Canada in calling for an end to COVID-19 lockdowns, saying they are “a threat to mental health” causing “huge” collateral damage.
“These many restrictions are causing unparalleled risk to Canadians physically. Lockdowns by their nature are a threat to mental health. The animal kingdom is limited to hunting, eating, mating, search for shelter. That’s not so with us human beings,” said David Sweet, who is a Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MP for Flamborough-Glanbrook in Hamilton, Ontario, at a press conference Wednesday.
“For a large part, what makes us human is birthdays, christenings, funerals, anniversaries, bar mitzvah, church, synagogue, mosque services, going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day, and fast approaching Easter and Passover. Psychological damage is huge during these lockdowns.”
Sweet’s joint press conference to call for an end of lockdowns in Ontario was held alongside provincial MPP Roman Baber. Baber was kicked out of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario by Premier Doug Ford for opposing lockdowns.
Sweets remarks are the first public, anti-lockdown remarks made by a sitting member of Erin O’Toole’s CPC party. Former CPC MP Derek Sloan, who was booted by O’Toole from the party in January, has also come out strongly against lockdowns.
O’Toole commented, “Frustration is understandable,” but “it should not lead to counterproductive behaviour.”
“My view and the view of the CPC is that we respect the work being done by our premiers and health officials throughout this crisis. They are trying to put the health of Canadians first,” said O’Toole.
Both Baber and Sweet have noted they do believe COVID-19 is not something to be taken for granted, but that the real focus should be on long-term care (LTC) facilities. These facilities have been where most deaths attributed to COVID have been registered.
During the press conference, Sweet mentioned the financial costs to the economy, and on small businesses. “The financial consequences that family businesses, entrepreneurs, and workers are experiencing because of lockdowns — it’s huge,” said Sweet.
“Restaurants Canada states … over 100,000 restaurants have closed in Canada. CFIB says that small businesses now bear 135 billion in debt due to government measures in response to the pandemic. Much of this debt was mandated by governments who wanted PPE, sanitization, plexiglass barriers, and the list goes on. It was assumed by businesses that these expenditures came with the promise that they could operate with these safety protocols in place. They feel betrayed.”
Sweet called for a “new path” forward that “includes substantial protection for … vulnerable seniors and those with comorbidities and pre-existing conditions.”
“Locking healthy people down is not a sustainable answer to try to stem the tide of a virus, and only creates hardship for healthy people. The priority of government efforts should focus on the protection of the vulnerable in long-term care facilities, congregate settings, and establishing income supplementation programs for those with pre-existing conditions.”
Only in recent weeks has the Ford government eased some restrictions, going back to a color-coded region approach to restrictions, which brought many parts of the province out of the stay-at-home orders.
However, the Toronto, Peel Region, and North Bay Parry Sound District are still under the stay-at-home order until Monday.
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 Hamilton region, which Sweet represents, is under the Red “control” level of restrictions. This level places strict limits on social gatherings and church services (30 percent capacity), bans kids and adult sports, and calls for people to only go out for “essential” reasons.
At the national level, Liberty Coalition Canada (LCC) is behind the “End the Lockdowns National Caucus,” which is a non-partisan group of current and former elected politicians with the common aim to end all “lockdowns” in Canada.
Both Baber and Sweet are not listed as part of the End the Lockdowns National Caucus, however, Independent Ontario MPP Randy Hillier is listed as part of the group. Hillier was from Ford’s party months ago.
Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill, who has been very critical of COVID lockdowns and the Ford government, thanked Baber for opposing lockdowns.
In a recent tweet, Kaur Gill wrote, “We don’t need governments to keep our children safe. We need to keep our children safe from governments.”
Gill was recently “cautioned” by the College of Physicians and Surgeons for her anti-lockdown stance, and opposition to rushed COVID vaccines.
Recently, Dr. Gil Nimni, a York, Ontario, emergency room (ER) physician, said lockdowns that send people into “financial ruin” are not the “answer” to the COVID-19 crisis, and that he shakes “his head” at his co-workers who go on social media “ranting” about a full emergency room.
To contact your member of parliament, click here.
To contact CPC leader Erin O’Toole, click here.
Premier Doug Ford
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Email: [email protected]