CONTACT YOUR MP: Free Pastor Coates and protect people of faith! Contact your MP, here.
EDMONTON, Alberta, February 24, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A Canadian lawyer has sharply criticized Alberta Premier Jason Kenney for his “unconstitutional” COVID laws that resulted in a Christian pastor being arrested and jailed last week for holding a church service after Alberta Health Services had ordered that the church close its doors for violating provincial restrictions on gatherings.
“I understand that Premier Kenney did not personally order Pastor Coates to be arrested and imprisoned, and that the premier cannot personally release the pastor. But it’s because of Jason Kenney’s unconstitutional laws that Pastor Coates is in jail today, and for no other reason,” wrote John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, in a Feb. 22 column for the Western Standard. Carpay’s firm is representing Pastor James Coates and is seeking his release from prison.
Carpay slammed Kenney’s COVID health orders as “irrational, destructive, unscientific and undemocratic.”
“Like most people, Pastor Coates and his Grace Life Church near Edmonton were very concerned about the COVID-19 virus back in March of 2020, when Neil Ferguson of Imperial College frightened the whole world with his wildly inaccurate predictions. Governments blindly accepted Professor Ferguson’s fearmongering about COVID-19 being an unusually deadly killer that we should all be (very) afraid of. Ignoring their own data and statistics, governments continue to base public policy on the fears of March 2020, rather than the facts of February 2021,” he wrote.
“Pastor Coates is following the science. Jason Kenney is not,” he added, noting later in his piece how COVID-19 poses “no significant threat to children, youth, young adults and about 90% of the population, who have a greater chance of dying in a car accident.”
Carpay criticized Kenney for reacting to outcry over the jailing of the pastor with a Feb. 18 Facebook post in which the Premier promised that Alberta’s government “will always respect and protect the fundamental freedoms of religion and worship, period.”
Commented Carpay: “That is, except when pastors are put in jail for refusing to comply with unscientific health orders.”
Later in the same post, Kenney referred to the COVID laws as “safe and reasonable guidelines.”
Commented Carpay: “What Mr. Kenney describes as ‘safe and reasonable guidelines’ are joy-killing, coercive laws that force people into isolation and loneliness by banning the necessary social interactions that we need for our physical, mental, spiritual and financial well-being. Lockdowns (whether full or partial) produce anxiety, stress and depression even amongst those who have not been pushed into unemployment, poverty and despair.”
“There is nothing ‘safe’ about cancelling medically necessary surgeries, like the pace-maker surgery needed by Jerry Dunham, who was killed by lockdowns – not by COVID. There is nothing ‘reasonable’ about forcing businesses into bankruptcy, often destroying the life savings of honest, hard-working people. There is nothing ‘safe’ about taking away sports, recreation, social interactions and recreational pursuits from children and adults, forcing millions to experience life primarily through a two-dimensional computer screen,” he added.
Carpay took issue with Kenney’s claim that the public health measures are “designed to save lives.”
“But his government exercises willful blindness when it comes to lockdown harms. For example, his government is making no effort to study, or to report to the public about, the number of Albertans like Jerry Dunham who died after their medically necessary surgeries were cancelled. Nor does Mr. Kenney’s government want to know how many Albertans now have late-stage cancer because their diagnostic exams or surgeries were delayed by lockdowns. You cannot honestly claim to care about ‘saving lives’ while refusing to take a hard and comprehensive look at all lockdown harms, and the specific nature and extent of each kind of lockdown harm. But the Alberta government, despite its abundant resources, is not researching, tracking, monitoring or publicizing information on lockdown harms,” he wrote.
Carpay noted how more Albertans “die from drug overdoses than from COVID-19,” a fact back up statistics.
The lawyer also took Kenney to task for his stance that asymptomatic people are significant spreaders of Covid.
“I’ve asked the Alberta government repeatedly to provide the public with scientific evidence to support the government’s thesis that healthy people spread this virus. None has been presented to date,” he wrote.
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' -
A 2020 Chinese study of nearly ten million residents of Wuhan found that there was no “viable virus” that was able to spread in the 300 “asymptomatic positive cases” that were identified.
Carpay concluded: “Pastor Coates is following his conscience as well as science. Jason Kenney used to care about the former, and is not following the latter.”
Coates is currently in jail and awaiting trial after he refused to agree to bail conditions that he does not hold more church services that violate COVID-19 government restrictions.
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