A Polish-Canadian pastor who has been arrested multiple times for holding services in defiance of COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions has vowed he won’t obey a court-ordered edict mandating he parrot the government’s “medical experts” from the pulpit.
Fox News reported Saturday that Pastor Artur Pawlowski was sentenced by the Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Adam Germain to 18 months probation in what has become the latest episode in an ongoing legal battle in Alberta over the past year involving violations of various pandemic rules against public gatherings. Pawlowski faced a charge of civil contempt for holding church services in violation of a previous court order banning the organizing, promoting, or attendance at an “illegal public gathering.”
Pawlowski faced an additional charge of contempt for having armed authorities removed from his sanctuary after they attempted several times to inspect it for compliance with pandemic rules, earning him international attention.
Besides being levied thousands of dollars in fines and court-related costs, Pawlowski has also been ordered, as a condition of his probation, to repeat what “the majority of medical experts in Alberta” have said regarding social distancing, wearing of masks, and getting COVID vaccines, even when he is in church speaking to his congregation.
“The final term of his probation order will be that when he is exercising his right of free speech and speaking against [Alberta Health Services] Health Orders and AHS health recommendations, in a public gathering or public forum (including electronic social media), he must indicate in his communications the following,” the judge wrote, adding a script for Pawlowski to follow.
“I am also aware that the views I am expressing to you on this occasion may not be views held by the majority of medical experts in Alberta. While I may disagree with them, I am obliged to inform you that the majority of medical experts favour social distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding large crowds to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the script says.
“Most medical experts also support participation in a vaccination program unless for a valid religious or medical reason you cannot be vaccinated. Vaccinations have been shown statistically to save lives and to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms,” it adds.
But the pastor says he has no intention of following the judge’s ruling and mandated script.
In an interview with Fox News, Pawlowski railed at Germain’s sanction, describing it as “unconstitutional,” “illegal,” and clearly an instance of “compelled speech like in China and North Korea.”
“This crooked judge wants to turn me into a CBC reporter or CNN reporter, that every time that I am in public, every time I’m opening my mouth, I am to pray their mantra to the government,” the pastor said.
He went on to describe the order as totally “without precedent” throughout Canada, a view that was shared by his attorney, Sarah Miller. She described the judge’s order as “bizarre” and “likely unconstitutional” under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the freedom of expression.
“This is totally and wholly new as far as sentencing goes, as far as I can see or as far as I am familiar with,” Miller said in an interview with Fox News. “I’ve never heard of any kind of probationary period which includes conditions that compelled certain speech. It seems highly unusual and rare.”
She added that it’s not yet clear how her client’s speech will be monitored for compliance with the judge’s order.
Germain, during sentencing, also ripped Pawlowski for airing his grievances in the United States. “Pastor Pawlowski oozes hubris, while relishing in his notoriety,” he said, adding that he refused to follow prosecutors’ lead in seeking jail time for Pawlowski because serving the 21-day sentence “would be a slap on the wrist that will make him a martyr.”
The pastor, who is prohibited from leaving the province under terms of his probation, believes the actions of the court and government only prove what he has been saying.
“When I grew up under the boots of the Soviets, the courts like this were called ‘show courts,'” he told Fox News. “It was to show that the government can do with you whatever they want, and there is nothing you can do about it. And it’s just to scare the public, telling you, ‘See, we can finish off anyone we want.’ They’re terrified of the truth.”
DONATE TO BIZPAC REVIEW
Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!
- Jan. 6 committee chair Benny Thompson offers a stunning take on potential Trump criminal actions - January 2, 2022
- Life-long New Yorker posts ‘sad’ Twitter ode on post-pandemic Big Apple being ‘shadow of its former self’ - January 2, 2022
- NYPD officer shot in head in police lot as he slept in vehicle between shifts - January 2, 2022
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.