Dozens Rally Against Arrest of Pastor Who Defied COVID-19 Lockdown Orders

Hundreds of protesters rallied outside the Edmonton Remand Centre on Feb. 20 to show their support for pastor James Coates, who remained in custody after being charged with breaking Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and refusing to comply with his conditions of release. The protestors urged people to join them in “standing for religious and charter freedoms.” In December 2020, GraceLife church is Edmonton was fined $1,200 when it hosted more people than the 15 percent limit mandated by the Alberta public health measures for faith-based services. The church was then issued a closure order in January, but Coates, the church’s pastor, continued holding services and was charged with one count of breaking the Public Health Act earlier this month and was later released on bail. He later broke the conditions of his release and was again charged. Coates turned himself in to the Parkland RCMP on Feb. 16 and remains in …
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