Canadian Government Drops Charges Against Pastor James Coates


The charges issued against Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church by the Canadian government have been dropped. It will be recalled that Coates was arrested on February 16 for violating COVID-19 rules. Also, his attorneys announced on Wednesday that there is every possibility that he will be released from prison this week.

Coates was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for holding physical services despite the government’s restriction. The preacher disregarded the health orders of Edmonton, Alberta by having more than 15% of his church capacity in attendance.
The preacher’s representatives are attorneys with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Rights. They stated that his prosecutors have decided to withdraw all except one of the Public Health Act offences that Pastor James Coates has been charged with. 

They announced that Coates will not be given any conditions upon his release. This is because the preacher was initially given a bail condition to stop preaching except he complies with the laws of the land, which he refused. 

Initially, Alberta Court of Queens Bench Justice Peter Michalyshyn stated that the decision to deny Coates’ bail was necessary and justified because he is “bound by the rule of law” and not yielding to conditions of his release is a worry for public safety.

Coates will be defended by the Justice Centre on a one-count charge which focuses on the 15% capacity limit. He argues that the public health order breaches on his constitutional rights. His trial has been slated to commence on May 3. President of the Justice Centre, John Carpay, while reacting to the case of the preacher said;

“The condition that Pastor Coates effectively stop doing his job as a pastor by adhering to unscientific and unconstitutional public health restrictions should never have been imposed on him by the RCMP, or by the Court. We are hopeful that he will finally be released from jail without conditions, and can resume pastoring Grace Life church.”

“We look forward to appearing in court in May and demanding the government provide evidence that public health restrictions that violate the freedoms of religion, peaceful assembly, expression, and association are scientific and are justifiable in a free and democratic country,” he concluded.

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