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CALGARY, Alberta, March 10, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The head of the legal group representing jailed Canadian Pastor James Coates says the Alberta provincial government will soon be forced to tell the facts about COVID, instead of merely practicing “fear-mongering through press conferences.”

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, John Carpay, who serves as the president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), said Coates’ upcoming trial scheduled for May 3 to 5 will — for the very “first time” — force the government to show its evidence for backing lockdowns which restrict church attendance size.

“It is a travesty of justice to have a pastor in jail for not complying with unscientific and unconstitutional health orders in respect to which the government has not provided any evidence, only theories,” Carpay told LifeSiteNews.

Carpay said that Coates upcoming trial will force the Alberta government under Premier Jason Kenney to disclose to the public the COVID “science” rather than engage in daily press conferences.

“The government has a theory that church services are a danger to public health, there’s no evidence that’s been before any court to support that, the government will have to produce some evidence at the trial May 3 to 5,” Carpay told LifeSiteNews. “At this trial the government will for the very first time have to show the public the science rather than through engaging in fear-mongering through press conferences.”

Coates has been detained at the Edmonton Remand Centre, awaiting trial since February 16, after refusing to agree to bail conditions which block his release unless he agrees to not hold church services amid severe coronavirus lockdowns.

On March 5, an Alberta court judge dismissed an appeal to his bail conditions, meaning Coates will remain behind bars for another two months.

Carpay told LifeSiteNews that his organization is contemplating an appeal through the Alberta Court of Appeal regarding Coates’ bail conditions, which forbid him from holding church services.

He was recently a guest on a Western Standard livestream interview with former Alberta MLA and mainstream media talk show host Danielle Smith, as well as Coates’ wife Erin.

In the livestream, Carpay noted, “I think Pastor Coates is a hero, it’s people like him that make the difference in creating justice in a country, because unless and until that happens, the injustice just — at best it stays at the same level, but it usually gets worse.”

On Sunday, February 14, Coates held a church service at his Grace Life Church located in Spruce Grove, Alberta, in violation of a January 29 order by Alberta Health Services (AHS) demanding that the church doors remain shut. It was shortly after this date that he was jailed.

In his ruling on March 5, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Peter Michalyshyn stated that Coates remains bound to the “law” and must follow Alberta’s COVID rules, despite the fact they go against his religious convictions.

Michalyshyn said Coates’ refusal to agree to comply with the Alberta health orders, imposed by its Chief Medical Officer Deena Hinshaw, was problematic.

Current Alberta COVID rules state that churches and other places of worship can operate at no more than 15 percent of the capacity allowed by the building fire code. Masks are mandatory, as are the sanitation of hands and keeping away from other people.

Recently, Carpay blasted Canada’s provincial chief medical officers for championing COVID lockdowns, saying “[n]o credible doctor would harm” people’s well-being by “stripping” them of their “freedoms” and disallowing them to be with loved ones, the way chief medical health officers are doing.

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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:

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:

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.


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.


'Alberta govt jails pastor for holding COVID-non-compliant worship services' -

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The JCCF has continually blasted the Kenney government for continued lockdowns and the impact they have had on Albertans’ lives, pointing out the extremely high survival rate.

As of this writing, Alberta lists 263 people in hospital, with 37 in ICU, in relation to COVID-19.

According to statistics compiled by the JCCF based on data from the government, the survival rate in Alberta from COVID-19 is 99.96 percent.

On Monday, Kenney announced that retail businesses can increase their capacity limits to 25 percent, however churches were not included in this increase.

The JCCF recently released an impactful video calling out Alberta Premier Jason Kenney for COVID-related emergency laws that led to the jailing of Coates.

The legal group is currently involved in many COVID-19 related legal cases in Alberta, and Canada-wide, representing people and groups fighting fines and charges.

The Alberta government, along with its health officials, have repeatedly stated that the health care system in the province would be overwhelmed were it not for COVID-19 lockdown measures, which have been in place for almost a year.

However, just recently, an internal memo indicated that intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in the Canadian province of Alberta were lower in 2020 than in 2019.

LifeSiteNews asks its readers to take the time to defend the religious liberty of Canadians by filling out our VoterVoice Alert to free Pastor Coates.


Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney

Office of the Premier
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 780-427-2251

To contact your local MLA, visit the link below.:


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