An Alberta justice of the Court of Queen's Bench in Edmonton has ruled on Friday that James Coates, the pastor of Grace Life Church, will remain imprisoned for the next eight weeks until his trial date.
"BREAKING NEWS: Alberta court jails Pastor Coates through to May 3-5 trial Justice Peter Michalyshyn of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton has ruled that Pastor James Coates of Grace Life Church must remain in jail pending his trial," tweeted the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms.
Pastor Coates had been arrested for violating the terms of his bail, and had been initially charged with violating the province's lockdown measures, which completely prohibit churches to be open. The terms of his bail would have effectively shut the church down.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is a Canadian activist organization that stands up for people like Pastor Coates. In fact, they have been providing him with legal representation in this case, and are very disappointed at this decision.
John Carpay, President of the Justice Centre, released the following statement:
"A trial set eight weeks down the road was too long for an innocent Pastor to be in jail. Pastor Coates is a peaceful Christian minister. He should never have been required to violate his conscience and effectively stop pastoring his church as a condition to be released. In every way this was a violation of Pastor Coates’ Charter rights and freedoms."
"Charter freedoms do not disappear because the government declares regular church services to be outlawed while allowing hundreds of people to fill their local Walmarts,"
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