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CALGARY, Alberta, February 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A Canadian hairdresser was slapped with a $1,000 COVID ticket after agreeing to give a haircut to a woman who had asked for the cut, but subsequently revealed her true identify and handed him a fine.
The incident occurred on December 27, when Amin Dagher, who with his family owns Hair Cru Salon in Calgary, Alberta, said he was paid an unannounced visit by an Alberta Health Services (AHS) inspector to his Salon.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which is legally representing Dagher to fight the fine, said Dagher first heard a knock at the salon door. He proceeded to let a woman inside his Salon, “believing she was a genuine customer wanting to buy care products,” according to a JCCF news release.
Once the woman was inside his shop, the woman asked Dagher if “she could have a haircut.”
“Desperate for income, his business barely hanging on, and with a family to feed, Mr. Dagher said yes. The woman then announced herself as AHS health inspector Anne Hoang and told Mr. Dagher that he had broken the law by agreeing to cut her hair, and that he would receive a ticket,” said the JCCF in a news release.
Haircutting services in Alberta were banned on December 11, 2020, by an order by Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw. At the same time, hair salons were allowed to stay open and sell hair products.
The JCCF said that the AHS inspector not only ticketed Dagher for $1,000, but she also issued “a notice to the public” that his Salon was “providing hair cutting services to the public.”
According to the JCCF, this resulted in the public being misled “to think the Salon was regularly contravening public health orders and intentionally exposing the Salon to public contempt.”
“The notice was even posted on the door of the Salon, which Mr. Dagher was forced to keep in place because to remove it would have been an offence under the Public Health Act,” noted the JCCF.
The JCCF says that Dagher has pleaded not guilty to his ticket. No trial date has been set.
JCCF lawyer James Kitchen said the whole thing was a “set up,” and that the “oppressive orders of the Chief Medical Officer of Health” are “choking the life out of small businesses in Alberta and depriving people of the ability to feed their families.”
“For Mr. Dagher, to have an AHS inspector bait him into agreeing to give her a haircut is to kick him while he’s down. This was a set up,” said Kitchen.
“The actions of Ms. Hoang in requesting Mr. Dagher give her a haircut are repugnant and a gross abuse of power. In a time when the government seeks to justify its destructive lockdown policies and rights infringements by claiming that adhering to public health restrictions is the kind thing to do, the cruelty of AHS inspectors using the allure of much-needed income to target and ticket small business owners is especially hypocritical.”
Hair salons in Alberta were once again allowed to provide haircutting services under strict limits starting January 18, after an outcry from many in the public as well as from Salon owners, some of whom defied orders and opened up during the ban.
According to a Global News report about the incident, Dagher said that it was in his opinion that the AHS officer’s tactics to fine him were unfair.
“Normally, a person would come in and look around … She’s looking for a way to give me a ticket,” said Dagher. “We don’t make money … We have no savings … We live day by day.”
In a statement sent to multiple media outlets, AHS stated it had received a total of three complaints from the “public” that staff at the Salon were not wearing masks. However, as the JCCF said in their release, Dagher had the doors of the Salon locked.
AHS also said that Dagher’s claim of being duped into providing a haircut contrary to the health rules in place at the time is “inaccurate and false.”
“In this specific case, the inspector did not ask for a haircut, but instead asked if the business was offering haircutting services. Staff at the salon confirmed haircutting services were being offered,” claimed AHS.
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' -
Like many parts of Canada, Alberta has been under severe second COVID-19 lockdown restrictions since early December.
The JCCF is currently representing multiple businesses and churches who have been targets of government lockdowns, including jailed Edmonton area Pastor James Coates.
The group has called for an end to restrictions and respect for the Canadian constitution.
“We remind you, since it is apparent that you need a reminder: the Constitution is the supreme law in Canada, not the Orders of Dr. Hinshaw,” wrote JCCF President John Carpay in a recent letter sent to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney regarding the jailing of Coates.
“Once citizens are able to show that their Charter rights have been violated, the onus shifts to the government to justify its violation of those rights. Again, this burden is on the government — not the citizens — and is intended by the Charter to be an onerous one.”
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: