James Coates Wiki – James Coates Bio
James Coates is a pastor west of Edmonton, he remains in custody Wednesday after he was charged with breaking Alberta’s Public Health Act and refusing to agree to the conditions of his release, RCMP said.
Coates is represented by an attorney with The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, James Kitchen, who said in a statement the arrest is a violation of Coates’ rights.
The church suspended in-person gatherings in the spring and returned in June. GraceLife has a congregation of about 400 people.
His age is unclear.
James Coates Arrested
Coates is the pastor of GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Canada who was jailed for refusing to comply with COVID-19 mandates issued by Alberta Health Services.
GraceLife pastor James Coates is imprisoned & detained, after presenting himself to RCMP, his crime-Serving God & conducting worship. Criminals were released due to COVID, but now we detain Pastors. What have we become? https://t.co/7eG0QAhxUi via @ctvedmonton #cdnpoli #abpoli
— Randy Hillier (@randyhillier) February 17, 2021
The preacher is in custody following a series of health department inspections and requests to comply with coronavirus regulations.
The pastor turned himself into police on Tuesday, two days after a service Alberta Health Services and RCMP attended where he “was not complying with his Undertaking release conditions” issued a week earlier, police said.
The pastor was charged with two counts of contravention of the Public Health Act and failing to comply with a condition of his undertaking.
Bail And Court Appearance
Coates attended a bail hearing Tuesday and was to be released on conditions, but was kept in custody overnight “after refusing to agree to those conditions,” RCMP said.
Those conditions, his lawyer told CTV News, include stopping church services, but “Coates could not, in good conscience, agree to that condition.”
The pastor made a court appearance on Wednesday and was given a second court appearance for next Wednesday after he continued to refuse to agree to the conditions, Mounties added.
“We’ve been consistent in our approach of escalated levels of enforcement with Pastor Coates, and we were hoping to resolve this issue in a different manner,” said RCMP Insp.
Mike Lokken. “The Pastor’s actions, and the subsequent effects those actions could have on the health and safety of citizens, dictated our response in this situation.”