Pastor James Coates of Gracelife Church is set to start his trial today at 9:30 AM in Provincial Court in Edmonton. He has been charged with one count of violating the Public Health Act for having church service. If convicted, he faces no jail time, but rather a fine of not more than $1200.
Coates and his lawyers initially planned on challenging the constitutional validity of the Public Health Act that declares his church gatherings illegal. As part of the process, they planned on getting a subpoena for Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer who has spearheaded the lockdowns and has been a driving force behind them. The goal was to force the government to produce scientific evidence in support of her orders, and if they could not, the orders would be rescinded as unconstitutional.
Unfortunately, government lawyers told the Court that the government couldn’t produce scientific evidence in support of Dr. Hinshaw’s health orders in time for the trial, and the court was just fine with that, unbelievably granting their request for delay. Despite the fact that they’ve had 14 months since this all began to produce some hard justification for their actions, this ensures that Coates’ charter challenge will be at an unknown, unspecified later date.
As a result, the trial will last 4 days but then be adjourned until such a time as the government can produce their evidence.
As far as where you can watch it: you can’t, you can only hear it.
The prosecution team petitioned the government not to allow any video of the trial, because they don’t want any images or video of their lawyer to be viewable during the trial- a request that Judge Robert Shaigec granted.
In fact, the lawyer’s name may not even be mentioned during the proceedings by any party involved. This is the same tactic that the government pulled when they initially denied Coates’ initial appeal- when they did not want her name published.
Because we couldn’t care less what they want, we’ll put it on record that the crown prosecution’s name is Karen L. Thorsrud.
Despite not allowing video of the proceedings, the judge did consent to let 1000 people listen to the trial virtually through WebEx, which is the court’s virtual software. He could have allowed more to listen in but chose not to. The link to this software has not been made public yet, but we will post it here as soon as we have access to it, right before the trial.
For now, watch this video below for the edification of your soul.
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