Pastor James Coates Will Be Released From Jail, Government Withdrawing Most Charges

Coates’ imprisonment had generated outrage from many Canadians who rightfully pointed out that he was simply exercising his Charter right to freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has announced that Pastor James Coates will be released from jail:

“The Justice Centre today announced that Crown Prosecutors have agreed to withdraw all but one of the Public Health Act offences that Pastor James Coates has been charged with. The Justice Centre expects Pastor Coates will be released from jail in the coming days, without any conditions, pending his May 3-5 trial in Provincial Court.

The Justice Centre will defend Pastor Coates on one remaining charge of violating an Order of the Chief Medical Officer of Health by challenging the lawfulness of the public health order that he is charged with violating.

The Pastor of Grace Life Church near Edmonton has been incarcerated in the Edmonton Remand Centre for a month, since February 16. It is expected that Pastor Coates could be released from jail as early as Friday, March 19.”

Coates had been ordered by agents of the government to limit his services to only 15% of congregants, which he accurately explained violated the Charter of Rights & Freedoms.

He faced further government action after holding further services, and was later charged by the authorities.

On February 16th, a bail hearing took place, and he was told to sign in agreement with a condition placed on him, mandating that he limit attendance at services.

Believing this violated his rights under the Charter, Coates refused, and has been in custody at the Edmonton Remand Centre ever since.

This authoritarian, police-state style action against a peaceful individual exercising his rights is a stark contrast to how the system treats actual criminals.

On the final charge, Coates will go to trial May 3rd, 2021.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube