CALGARY, Alberta, June 25, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Jailed Canadian Pastor Tim Stephens wrote in a letter to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney that his government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis has made his province an “embarrassment of conservative governments” the world over.
“Mr. Premier, I know these restrictions will be lifted soon. I ask that you refrain from using imprisonment ever again to seek compliance to health orders. My imprisonment may be applauded by the left, but it has made Alberta the world-wide embarrassment of conservative governments,” wrote Stephens in a letter dated June 23.
“As restrictions are lifted, return responsibility to the people of Alberta and return it for good. May this not be a pattern for your government in the future.”
On June 14, Stephens was was arrested and charged a second time by members of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) for allegedly breaking COVID-19 health rules.
He is behind bars at the Calgary Remand Centre until his next court appearance scheduled for June 28.
Stephens’ new charges and arrest follow a service he held on June 6. The pastor had his church doors shut by police on June 5, but continued conducting services nonetheless, albeit in secret.
Stephens is a father of eight and serves as the pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary, Alberta.
A video of his arrest shows Stephens’ children crying while saying “goodbye daddy,” as he was placed inside a police car.
In his letter to Kenney, Stephens pleaded with him and elected MLA’s “to uphold our highest laws to which you are held to account.”
“Temporary public health orders do not supersede our Alberta Bill of Rights, nor our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I know that I am in the minority, but these laws are designed to protect the minority,” wrote Kenney.
Stephens wrote that he has missed many important family events, including his wedding anniversary and Fathers’ Day.
“My children will remember this Fathers’ Day as a time when they wept over the phone as I did my best to stay composed before other inmates while expressing my love for my children,” penned Stephens. “Your government has wrongfully put me on the horns of a dilemma. Either I forsake my convictions before God, or I’m imprisoned for some unknown time, taken from my family and the church community I’m entrusted to serve. If I choose the former then I deny God, thus I’m left facing the consequences of the latter. My conscience is captive to the Word of God and shall not be moved.”
Stephens’ letter also took aim at Alberta Health Services (AHS) officials who claimed they tried to work with him to seek compliance with COVID-19 rules before his arrest.
“I’ve shared publicly, and on many occasions how our theological convictions, mined from never-changing Scripture, come into conflict with your ever-changing ‘laws.’ AHS continues to make public statements that they tried “working” with us, which is shorthand for them seeking unbending compliance through greater threats of punishment,” wrote Stephens.
“Not once has anyone in your government shown any interest in actually working with us.”
The parents of Alta Fixsler are pleading with the British courts not to remove life support from their brain-damaged daughter, so that they can transport her to a hospital in Israel or the U.S.
Could you do your part and SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks the British courts and hospital system to allow the Fixslers to remove their daughter from the UK so that she can live, and not be killed by so-called "passive euthanasia" where her life support is taken away?
Late last month, High Court Justice Mr. Alistair McDonald insanely ruled that it is in Alta's "best interests" to have her life support stopped, and that Manchester University NHS could begin the process of removing her life support.
But, Mr. and Mrs. Fixsler, who are are Orthodox Jews living according to Hebrew law, strenuously objected to the hospital depriving Alta of life support and she was given a reprieve, but we don't know how long that will last.
In fact, just yesterday, a British Court of Appeal declined to render judgement in this case, giving more hope that little Alta might be able to leave the UK and be treated in another country.
And, both American and Israeli lawmakers have spoken up against the planned passive euthanasia death of Alta, with a host of U.S. Senators, as well as the Israeli Health Minister and President, petitioning different British officials to stop the process of causing Alta's death.
We concur with what the Senators wrote: "It is unacceptable that people in government think they, not parents, should decide what is in the best interest of a child, even in a matter of life and death."
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition now.
The story of a brain-damaged child in England in danger of a passive euthanasia opposed by both his or her parents and officials overseas is now a distressingly familiar one.
In the 2017 case of Charlie Gard, Pope Francis, President Donald Trump, and 37 European MPs sided with the infant’s parents against the British courts that agreed to allow the NHS to withdraw his life support. Almost one-year-old Charlie died 12 minutes after he was removed from a ventilator.
In 2018, Tom Evans, the Catholic father of Alfie Evans, appealed to Pope Francis on behalf of his almost two-year-old son, and the pontiff did indeed ask for prayers for the youngster. Both Polish and Italian hospitals were willing to treat the brain-injured boy, but the British courts refused to release him. Alfie died four days after he was removed from a ventilator.
In 2019, Tafida Raqeeb, then five years old, made headlines when her Muslim parents fought the Barts Health NHS Trust’s request to stop treating the brain-damaged girl. Once again, an Italian hospital offered to treat the sick child, and in this case the judge – Mr Justice Alistair MacDonald – ruled that the child could be allowed to live and taken to Italy for treatment.
And, in 2021, six-year-old Pippa Knight was not permitted to live despite the wishes of her widowed mother Paula. Pippa died in May after doctors removed her life support.
RIGHT NOW, please help little Alta and her parents fight for her right to live, and not be killed by having her life support removed.
Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this urgent petition.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'No judgment yet: Panel to ‘think carefully’ about taking 2-year-old Alta Fixsler off life support' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/no-judgment-yet-panel-to-think-carefully-about-taking-2-year-old-alta-fixsler-off-life-support
'US senators, Israeli officials appeal against UK High Court decision to deny Jewish toddler food, water, oxygen' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-senators-israeli-officials-appeal-against-uk-high-court-decision-to-deny-jewish-toddler-food-water-oxygen
'Judge rules Jewish girl's life support can be withdrawn' - https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-57276221
Photo Credit: screenshot / 'PA'
Stephens’ first arrest on May 16 also occurred in front of his family, after he held an indoor church service that contravened the provincial government’s COVID rules. He was released after a judge agreed to let him out of jail on the condition that he abide by a now-amended May 6 injunction order issued by AHS.
Rally to be held for Stephens in front of Calgary jail where he is imprisoned
Liberty Coalition Canada will be holding a “freedom” rally in support of Stephens this Saturday at the Calgary Remand Centre, starting at 1 p.m.
The rally will feature Independent MP Derek Sloan, President John Carpay of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), and Independent Alberta MLA Drew Barnes.
Other guest speakers are Pastor Jacob Reaume and Pastor Michael Thiessen. Both Reaume and Thiessen are facing thousands of dollars in fines for breaking COVID rules in the provinces they minister in.
Jay Cameron, Litigation Director for the JCCF, recently said that health officials “abused” their authority by arresting Stephens, and that a judge’s order used to detain Stephens “does not apply” in his situation.
“It is our position that Alberta Health Services (AHS) is engaged in an intentional act of public deception and abuse of authority in arresting Pastor Stephens and others,” said Cameron.
Cameron argued that AHS used a May 13 order from Alberta Associate Chief Justice Rooke to justify the arrest of Stephens, but that it does not “apply to the public broadly.” The order was originally issued in relation to a planned protest at an Alberta restaurant, The Whistle Stop Café.
“It cannot be used to justify the two arrests of Pastor Stephens on May 16 and June 14,” said Cameron.
Contact information for respectful communication
Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney
Office of the Premier
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6
Email: [email protected]
To contact your local MLA, visit the link below: