There is disturbing news for those who have been following the arrest of Pastor James Coates. Coates pastors GraceLife Church, near Spruce Grove Alberta, that has been holding service in violation of the province’s lockdown orders limiting church attendance to 15%.
Coates was arrested in February and jailed for 35 days after he refused to sign an undertaking he would not attend services at the church. Coates is facing a fine of $1,500 and is scheduled to go to trial on May 3, 2021.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), a legal non-profit, was intending to argue in Coates’ defence that the lockdowns violated the Canada’s Charter of Freedoms and Liberty that guarantees people freedom of religion and right to assembly.
JCCF believes governments cannot set aside these important rights on a whim and was arguing that the Alberta Health Department needed to provide scientific and medical evidence that lockdowns were not only necessary but actually worked.
Well, a judge just ruled that JCCF cannot challenge the Alberta Health Department’s lockdown on a Constitutional basis.
The Daily Wire reports:
A provincial court in Alberta, Canada, ruled earlier this week that Pastor James Coates, who was jailed earlier this year after holding church services, will not be allowed to challenge the constitutional validity of Alberta’s Public Health Act during his upcoming trial.
The Provincial Court in Stony Plain, Alberta, also ruled that the government will not have to produce scientific evidence to support the order, according to a press release from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF).
“Government lawyers told the Court that the Alberta Government could not produce any scientific evidence in support of Dr. Hinshaw’s orders in time for the May 3 trial,” JCCF said. The Alberta Government Crown Prosecutor had before sought to delay the May 3 trial so the prosecution could have more time to gather evidence.
READ: Court Grants Alberta’s Request To Forbid Jailed Pastor From Challenging Health Order During Trial