Canadian pastor accused of violating COVID-lockdown wins legal victory

The Canadian pastor who was jailed for holding church services supposedly in violation of Alberta’s COVID mandate just scored a massive legal victory.

The Daily Wire reports that a Canadian appellate court has just set aside the charges that had been filed against the pastor and even reimbursed all fines issued by the government against him. 

Background

The pastor is Artur Pawlowski of Calgary Street Church. In May of 2021, Pawlowski, and his brother David Pawlowski, were arrested and charged with violating Alberta’s COVID mandate. They were accused of doing so by holding church services without requiring those in attendance to wear masks.

The arrest itself turned into a big scene as Pawloski was arrested by Calgary police – in the middle of the highway – while he was driving home from church. It sounds like something that was organized by the government in order to make a statement.

Pawlowski was subsequently charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering and “requesting, inciting, or inviting others” to participate in it. This, though, may not have even been the worst of it for Pawlowski.

In October, a judge ruled that Pawlowski was, in fact, in contempt of Alberta’s COVID mandate. The judge, as part of the punishment, ordered Pawlowski, every time he speaks about Alberta’s COVID mandates, to issue a government-approved statement indicating that most medical experts support such COVID measures as social distancing, the wearing of face masks, and the effectiveness of vaccines.

Everything was going against Pawlowski, that is, until this past week.

The latest

On Friday, a Canadian appeals court ruled in Pawloski’s favor finding that Alberta’s mandate that prohibited “illegal public gatherings” was “not sufficiently clear and unambiguous” so as to apply to Pawloski.

Accordingly, the court set aside the contempt ruling, including the sanction order, and it required Pawloski’s fines – in the amount of $23,000 – to be reimbursed. On top of this, Alberta also has to pay Pawloski’s legal fees.

Pawloski’s attorney called it “a slam dunk win.”

“It’s a slam dunk win,” attorney Sarah Miller tweeted. “The Court of Appeal made a unanimous, sound decision and overturned the finding of contempt made against my client.”

It sounds almost too good to be true, but it is.

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