[JCCF] Like most people, Pastor Coates and his church complied fully with health orders in March of 2020, when the world was terrorized by the fearmongering predictions of Neil Ferguson of Imperial College. Twelve months later, the data and statistics from governments around the world tell us that COVID warrants only a small fraction of the fear we ascribe to it. Further, once a virus is out and about, it cannot be stopped by destroying the economy, by forcing people to reduce their social interactions to a two-dimensional computer screen, or by closing houses of worship.
As we progressed through 2020, the government restrictions on our freedom to move, travel, associate, assemble and worship made less and less sense. What became more apparent with time is the massive harm that lockdowns inflict: deaths from cancelled surgeries and delayed surgeries; deaths from cancer because of delayed MRIs and CT scans; deaths from drug overdoses and suicides; unemployment; poverty; isolation and loneliness leading to stress, anxiety, and depression; children told to live in fear, deprived of sports, recreation and healthy social interactions; and massive new debt that our children and grandchildren must repay.
Backed by science and called by God, Grace Life and its pastors have displayed the courage to hold full church services since July of 2020, in the face of weekly harassment and intimidation by Jason Kenney’s ever-growing army of health inspectors.
When the Alberta Government argued at a March 4, 2021 court hearing that Pastor Coates should remain in jail for another eight weeks pending his trial in May, Crown prosecutor Karen Thorsrud presented no evidence that full churches pose any threat to public health.
The government’s failure to provide evidence, after nearly a full year of violating the Charter freedoms of Albertans, is a disgrace. Governments have had an easy ride these past 12 months, using news conferences to declare repeatedly that their lockdowns are “scientific” and “evidence-based.”
Pro-lockdown media were–and still are–more than happy to spread the government’s message of fear, citing meaningless numbers of “cases” based on unreliable PCR tests which were never designed to diagnose COVID.
Fortunately, the Alberta government cannot rely on press releases at the trial of Pastor Coates in May. The health orders themselves will be on trial, accused of unjustifiably violating fundamental Charter freedoms. The Charter places the onus on government, not on Pastor Coates, to show that it is truly necessary and beneficial to violate citizens’ rights and freedoms.
In court in May, for the first time since lockdowns were imposed, the Alberta government will have to provide compelling evidence to support its theories. The government will have to show that COVID is an unusually deadly killer, when Statistics Canada tells us it is not.
The government will have to show that asymptomatic people spread the virus, when science tells us that only sick people are serious spreaders. The government will have to provide actual evidence to support its claim that lockdowns save lives; mere assertions won’t suffice.
The government will have to respond to the data showing that hospitals have already been overcrowded for many years, long before Covid arrived, and the data showing that ICU admissions in Alberta were actually down in 2020, not up. Last but not least, the government will have to answer for all of the massive harms that lockdowns have caused, and are still causing, and prove that lockdowns do more good than harm.
Currently there is no justice for Pastor Coates in jail. But his trial in May will provide an opportunity for justice for millions of Albertans and millions of Canadians.
If you would like to support Pastor James Coates, friends of the Montana Daily Gazette have set up a website to help fund his legal defense and draw attention to his plight. Free Pastor Coates, which can be found at RestoreFreedom.Ca, is providing bumper stickers asking to – as the name would suggest – free Pastor Coates.
Proceeds of the funds will be given to support Pastor Coates and work for his release.