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ONTARIO, Canada, March 1, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Fierce online backlash from outraged parents as well as the media spotlight forced a major Ontario regional municipality to say it made a “mistake” in issuing a flyer that instructed parents to keep their children in solitary quarantine at home for a period of 14 days if the child was dismissed from school or child care after being exposed to COVID-19.
The Region of Peel, comprising the Ontario cities of Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon, released a flyer in December in which it told parents what to do if their children who attend school or child care are dismissed because a classmate came down with COVID-19.
“The child must self-isolate,” stated the flyer, “which means stay in a separate bedroom, eat in a separate room apart from others, use a separate bathroom.” The directives would apply to children as young as three who attend child care.
The Toronto Sun released a report about the directives on Saturday, interviewing experts who criticized them as harmful and not supported by science.
“This is cruel punishment for a child, especially for younger children, 4-10 years old,” Dr. Susan Richardson, a microbiologist and infectious disease physician, told the Sun.
“Shutting a child off from their parents and siblings for up to 14 days in this manner could produce significant and long-lasting emotional and psychological effects,” she added.
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' -
Richardson said that the directives are not supported by science.
“An asymptomatic child in a classroom with one child testing positive is at very low risk for acquiring infection,” she told the Sun. “Most importantly, we are losing sight of the fact that if he/she should contract COVID while quarantining at home, they and their siblings are at an extremely low risk of suffering severe disease as a consequence.”
The flyer also says that if the confined child must leave their room, “they should wear a mask and stay 2 metres apart from others.” Other children in the family must also be separated from the confined sibling and stay home for 14 days.
Dr. Tess Clifford, the director of the Psychology Clinic at Queen’s University, told the Sun that such directives are not “practically possible” and are “highly likely to cause harm to children who would already be experiencing considerable distress with having to remain at home.”
Dr. Martha Fulford, an infectious diseases physician at Hamilton Health Science who focuses on pediatrics, told the Sun that the directives were “shocking.”
“I don’t understand how any health-care professional has moved so far away from the fundamentals of public health and of doing no harm that they would think that basically incarcerating a child in a room for 14 days is in any way justified,” she said.
Peel area parents were outraged at the directives.
“My 10-year-old granddaughter was sent home from school today because one kid in her class tested positive. Public Health instructed her mom to keep her in her room with no contact with rest of family for 14 days,” one mom wrote on Twitter.
“Sounds like child abuse to me. There’s a $5K fine for non-compliance,” she added.
The Region of Peel tweeted this morning, however, that it had made a “mistake” in the flyer and was “sorry.”
“We made a mistake. We put out a flyer about what parents and guardians should do when their child gets sent home from school after a COVID-19 exposure and we left out an important detail.”
The Peel Region’s tweet said that specific details about a caregiver isolating with the child were on its website but not in the flyer.
“No surprise that it would upset and confuse people. We’re fixing it right now.”
The region’s website states that a “caregiver may need to isolate with the child if they require support with daily living, such as bathing, feeding, and clothing. If you're caring for a child, it's important to follow precautions to protect yourself and others in the home.”
These directives, however, fail to take into account statistical research that shows that children, teens, and young adults “do not have a high-risk for significant negative medical outcomes, including fatality” from COVID-19 infection.
A July 2020 U.S. study by Ealy, McEvoy, and Gupta et al published on Children’s Health Defense found that children have a probability of recovery of 99.9577% from COVID-19 infections.
“This data suggests that extreme measures for ensuring the safety of the Age 0 to 19 demographic may potentially do more harm than good,” the researchers stated in their conclusion.
“Policy decisions for governance and education should always be weighed against the very real possibility of severe emotional stress, psychological strain, and stunted social development, created by preventing young American citizens from attending school in person, or imposing severe protective measures to limit physical contact while in attendance in school,” they added.
Parents on social media were not impressed with Peel Region’s apology.
“No parent in their right mind would isolate there child and listen to these ‘medical professionals’…..this has become a joke…..because of the way u have been ordering us around …! we’re done,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another Twitter use responded to Peel’s region’s apology: “You mean to tell me we are to believe that if we didn’t catch you doing this crap & retweeted it constantly you wouldn’t have noticed it? Please …you just got caught. Zero credibility & we are now done with your ‘recommendations.’”