Alberta officials were let off the hook by Canada's provincial court from presenting solid scientific evidence justifying lockdown as an effective means to contain the COVID-19 virus.
Pastor James Coates and GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada have been making the headlines for the past weeks. Coates was sent to jail for holding worship services and was forced to stay longer for refusing "to sign an agreement to stop pastoring his church according to the congregation's beliefs," states Justice Centre, the legal team representing the pastor and his church.
Coates' trial is set on May 3rd and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms had challenged the constitutionality and legality of Alberta's restriction orders to justify the imprisonment of a faith leader and the fencing of a church property.
"After 13 months of violating Charter freedoms, the Alberta government refuses to present evidence in support of lockdowns in court, and unfortunately the courts have permitted the government to delay facing accountability in regard to Charter violations," said Justice Centre President John Carpay in a statement on Friday.
"The Alberta government supposedly has enough medical and scientific evidence to shut down hundreds of small businesses, pushing many of them into bankruptcy, and to cancel over 20,000 medically necessary surgeries, and to force Albertans into a third lockdown. But when asked to produce this medical and scientific evidence at trial, the Alberta government declares itself incapable of doing so," he added.
Justice Centre further explained that the "Charter" challenge to Dr. Hinshaw's orders has been filed in December 2020, but due to delays on the part of government attorneys, the challenge will have to be slated at a later date.
Meantime, the Justice Centre will focus on Pastor Coates' trial on May 3. In his defense, their statement said that constitutional rights were violated like the freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and arbitrary detention. These violations of multiple Charter rights are enough reasons for the Court to dismiss the Public Health Act charge against Pastor Coates, the Justice Centre argued.
According to the Christian Post, officials have resorted to tough measures against Coates and GraceLife for repeatedly ignoring public health guidelines like wearing masks and physical distancing during their in-house worship services. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were also dispatched to physically close the church.
"With COVID-19 cases increasing and the more easily-transmitted and potentially more severe variants becoming dominant, there is urgent need to minimize spread to protect all Albertans," AHS told The Epoch Times.
In February, GraceLife said in a statement that they have been livestreaming their services and were law abiding throughout the first months of the government imposed guidelines. Their return to normal gatherings beginning on June 21, 2020 was after the public health emergency ended.
"We did so recognizing COVID-19 was much less severe than the government had initially projected," the statement said.
The church asserts that they have also done significant amount of research including talks with both doctors and frontline health workers. Their findings brought them to the conclusion that prolonged lockdowns are ineffective in mitigating the virus and that its projected 'threat' was only a smokescreen to strip people of their civil liberties.
"By the time the so-called "pandemic" is over, if it is ever permitted to be over, Albertans will be utterly reliant on government, instead of free, prosperous, and independent," declared the statement.