Lots of of individuals demonstrated Sunday morning exterior the shuttered GraceLife Church west of Edmonton.
Alberta Well being Companies closed the church final week after it repeatedly defied public well being orders, usually with hundreds of people attending services. Chain hyperlink fences have been arrange across the website in Parkland County.
The gang gathered alongside the highway adjoining to the church on Sunday. Among the many indicators have been messages decrying vaccines and public well being restrictions.
An elevated police presence by the RCMP included further visitors enforcement officers deployed to the realm.
Police stated in a press release they’d solely use the extent of intervention essential to make sure security and keep peace, order and safety. Officers have been current at a barricade on the highway resulting in the church.
Dozens of police automobiles shut off entry to roads across the church whereas a big line of a minimum of 30 officers confronted the outer fence.
There was a tense second round midday when a gaggle splintered from the gang and tore down a part of the fence. RCMP and others from the gang pushed again the group and re-established the fence.
The gang started to disperse shortly earlier than 2 p.m.
In a media assertion Wednesday, AHS stated it had “bodily closed” the church and would stop entry till the church “can display the power to adjust to Alberta’s chief medical officer of well being’s restrictions.”
Between July 10 final 12 months and Tuesday of final week, AHS stated it has obtained 105 complaints from the general public in regards to the church.
AHS stated inspectors have carried out 18 inspections on the website since July 10, 2020, and violations have been noticed at every go to.
GraceLife’s Pastor James Coates was charged in February with violating COVID-19 public well being orders.
After he was charged, Coates was jailed for refusing to adjust to a bail situation that he solely maintain providers in compliance with public well being orders. In early March, his legal professionals appealed with the argument that it might go in opposition to the pastor’s conscience earlier than God to not lead worshippers.
Coates spent 35 days in custody earlier than pleading responsible to a cost of breaching bail and was fined $1,500. He returned to the pulpit on March 28.
The church was additionally charged as an entity for exceeding allowable capability at Sunday providers in February.