Calgary, Alberta – Earlier today, police arrested an organizer of a church service who was in violation of a new court order obtained by Alberta Health Services (AHS) in relation to mandatory compliance of public health orders for gatherings.
On Thursday, May 6, 2021, AHS obtained a Court of Queen’s Bench Order that applies to gatherings including protests, demonstrations and rallies. This order imposes new restrictions on organizers of protests and demonstrations requiring compliance with public health orders including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits.
Earlier this morning, CPS lawfully enforced this order by proactively serving an organizer of a church service with the court order in an effort to ensure that citizens attending the Saturday service were abiding by the current COVID-19 public health orders. The order was served prior to the church service, and CPS did not enter the church during the service.
The service organizer acknowledged the injunction, but chose to ignore requirements for social distancing, mask wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees, and continued with the event.
As a result, Artur Pawlowski and Dawid Pawlowski have both been arrested and charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, including requesting, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal public gathering, promoting and attending an illegal public gathering.
It is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.
We continue to ask those who may be considering organizing or participating in any outdoor events to ensure they are familiar with public health order requirements and to do their part to prevent further spread of the virus.
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