Click on the arrow below to listen to this story
There have been a steady drip of absurd stories related to government response to the COVID-19 situation as agencies seem to be competing with each other for imposing the most restrictive, unnecessary actions possible.
Canada, once a free country, has clamped down hard on its citizens nationwide, but especially in two provinces: Alberta and Ontario.
Earlier this month, the Calgary, Alberta, Police Service joined forces with the Alberta Health Services (AHS) to deploy a helicopter June 6 to search for a suspected illegal gathering of Christians meeting in defiance of COVID restrictions.
After police had earlier closed the church and erected fences around the property, Fairview Baptist Church held an outdoor assembly involving 200 adults engaged in worship. That was contrary to a directive limiting in-person gatherings for worship service to less than 10 people.
As a result, Pastor Tim Stephens as arrested in front of his children and hauled off to jail where he will be confined until his hearing on June 28, Daily Wire reported.
As he was being arrested, a police officer told Stevens that Jesus “also told us wherever two or three are gathered, there he is in the midst of us, so we don’t need a huge gathering.”
Stephens was also arrested in May before those charges were thrown out by a court when it declared the action to be illegal because police applied an injunction directed at a specific cafe and applied it to every Albertan.
Stevens is the third Alberta pastor to be arrested for violating COVID restrictions.
As of June 21, Alberta reported a total of 231,419 positive cases of the virus which has sickened just over 5 percent of the total population over the past 18 months and killed 2,292 people, or 0.05 percent of all Albertans, for which the average age at death was 80.
“The May 13 court order (against Whistle Stop Cafe) does not apply to the public broadly and it is our position that AHS is engaged in an intentional act of public deception and abuse of authority in arresting Pastor Stephens and others,” said lawyer Jay Cameron, litigation director at the Justice Centre, which represents Stevens.
“Further, it appears that Premier Jason Kenney’s government is targeting its enemies, those who are speaking out against lockdown restrictions and for Charter freedoms,” he added.
“Locking out Fairview Baptist congregants and arresting Pastor Tim Stephens has everything to do with punishing dissent, and nothing to do with public safety,” said Cameron.
“Just yesterday, legislator Clayton Getson, was photographed at an event, Air Tour 2021, with at least a dozen people pictured not wearing masks or social distancing at Villeneuve Airport,” he explained, noting that tens of thousands of people are expected to participate in the Calgary Stampede in July.
“The Premier wines and dines his ministers at the Sky Palace with impunity, but church congregants cannot peacefully gather to pray together and worship on their own property in accordance with their conscience and in exercise of their constitutional freedoms,” said Cameron.