Parkland County, Alberta – This morning the RCMP, along with AHS, attended the GraceLife Church to ensure that morning service was held in compliance with the following Public Health Order; the church cannot be at more than 15% capacity and people in attendance must physically distance. RCMP members on scene determined that the church did not comply with the restrictions.
Subsequently the RCMP are furthering their investigation into the actions of GraceLife Church and the church pastor, James Coates. A detailed media release regarding the outcome of the investigation is anticipated for release mid week.
“To be very clear, the RCMP’s objective is not to interrupt church services, prohibit services, nor deny peoples’ right to practice their religion – merely to ensure that public health restrictions are adhered to while doing so” says Inspector Mike Lokken, Detachment Commander of Parkland RCMP.
Feb. 8, 2021
Parkland RCMP – Charges laid against GraceLife Church
Parkland County, Alta. – Earlier today, the RCMP swore a charge against James Coates, the Pastor of the GraceLife Church, in contravention of Section 73(1) of the Public Health Act, for being over capacity and failing to adhere to physical distancing requirements. Coates has been served an Undertaking with conditions and is to attend in Provincial Court in Stony Plain on March 31, 2021.
The RCMP can confirm that in December a violation ticket was issued to the Pastor, and on Feb. 7 the Pastor was arrested and released with a court appearance date.
Since early December the RCMP have been working with AHS in an ongoing investigation into the activities surrounding the non compliance of the church. AHS has maintained a position of being the lead investigating agency. On Feb. 7, the RCMP, along with the Public Health Inspector with AHS, attended the church and determined that the facility was over double the current restricted capacity level. As a matter of respect, the church proceedings were not interrupted by the RCMP, and Coates was cooperative with the RCMP following the end of the service.
“There are many different discussions and considerations at play in relation to the GraceLife Church and their non compliance” says Inspector Mike Lokken, Detachment Commander of Parkland RCMP. “We have ensured that the church is well aware of the conditions that they need to follow and they have been afforded repeated opportunities to comply. In collaboration with AHS, we have now followed up with escalated enforcement.”
Please support us by "sharing".