Rebel News reporter Sheila Gunn Reid is watching and live-tweeting the second day the trial of Pastor James Coates, who allegedly violated public health orders by not limiting his GraceLife Church congregation.
Coates is represented by Leighton Grey and James Kitchen of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.
Here’s what Sheila is live-tweeting now:
(11:28 AM ET / 9:28 AM MT) Headed into day 2 of court for the Pastor James Coates trial now.
Watch for a video update when Court breaks at lunch.
Lawyer for Coates, Leighton Grey is currently arguing that bail conditions which demanded Coates forsake his section 2.A charter rights violated his right to liberty
(He’s doing this to try to get a bail hearing transcript admitted into evidence as part of a Charter application)
Crown is arguing that the matter at trial is for a Dec 20 offence (the ticket) and that offence the hearing involved has since been
resolved with a guilty plea, making the transcript of the “show cause” hearing irrelevant.
Judge is ruling against crown, allowing the transcript
Grey is looking to call Dr Stephen Cobbold to offer testimony in his Charter application.
Dr. Cobbold is Prof of Cellular Immunology at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford.
“To provide objective scientific support for Coates’ beliefs” about threat of coronavirus
Court is adjourned while the lawyers and judge sort some things out.
(12:30 PM ET / 10:30 AM MT) Grey is saying he has [received] advice to not call Dr Cobbold on the charter notice but he may call the Oxford prof at a later time.
JCCF’s James Kitchen for Coates is now up on the April 14 charter notice, regarding the violation of Coates freedom of expression charter rights.
Argument is based on the 15% of firecode restriction.
Does the enforcement of restriction infringe on expressive rights?
Kitchen is detailing how the singing, the fellowship after church, the preaching and praying are protected activities
* Kitchen notes the Supreme Court affirmed the protection of not just the expression but the receipt (listening) of the expression as a protected Charter right.
Kitchen argues the restrictions on capacity violate Coates’ ability to express to 85% of his congregants.
Same argument applies to 85% of the congregants to listen or be in receipt of the expression.
Kitchen argues the fine issued to Coates is a penalization of the exercise of his protected Charter rights.
Kitchen argues “section 2.b protects in-person, human communication and humans need it and want it and derive more benefit from it”
Do GraceLife congregants have a section 2.b right to sing praises together in person?”
“The answer to that is obvious. Of course they do.”
“if you are one of the 85% in the excluded group, you are being denied your section 2.b right to communicate in person within the group”
“the law asks Pastor Coates’ to take away the rights of 85% of his congregation…. And if he doesn’t then he is penalized for it”
Kitchen: we heard the facts. All through Dec, all through Jan, all through Feb. Ms Hanrahan and the RCMP were there every Sunday.
The ticket was issued Dec 20th only after Pastor Coates preached a sermon critical of the govt. Diff’t than the other Sundays when AHS showed up”
Kitchen: we know RCMP are not acting unilaterally. They are under the direction of Alberta Health Services.
Why did Janine Hanrahan direct the RCMP to ticket Coates after he gave a sermon critical of the government? Not after. Not before.
Kitchen: we submit the purpose of the ticket was to infringe on section 2B of the charter. To censor.
(Based on the timing, that it was only issued after the sermon critical of the government)
Next issue. Kitchen is now working on making arguments about Charter violations regarding freedom of assembly. Section 2.C.
Kitchen: case law (re peaceful assembly) indicates it protects the physical gathering together of people
Freedom of assembly protects the rights of people to exercise the right to gather together with others exercising the same right.
Communities of faith are specifically protected, as institutions and as individuals.
Individual and collective rights are complementary here
“Freedom of assembly is different.”
“It should independently stand….as essential for civil society”
More to come…