Police in Nova Scotia have fined 26 churchgoers a total of $2,422 each for attending an “illegal faith gathering” on Sunday. This is believed to be the highest value of fines handed out to individual parishioners in North America since the pandemic began.
Officers were called to Weston Christian Fellowship Church in Weston, N.S., where they found the service in progress. Nova Scotia has one of the strictest rules in Canada, where it is illegal to have any in-person church service, irrespective of the number of people or the space it is being done in. RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Chris Marshall explains:
Twenty-six people were charged in the event, as a result of the gathering, and then the organization itself that was hosting the gathering was also charged. Basically, anybody that was over the age of 16 was issued a fine. There were some children and things there, but the children weren’t issued fines.
Not only were the congregants charged, but the church itself was charged as a corporation and given a $11,622 fine. In total more than $74,000 in fines were issued.
Naturally, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health Robert Strang was supportive of the decision, given that it is the result of his own orders and policies.
We recognize the importance of faith services, of worship. But also recognize that right now, there’s a need to do that in ways that don’t bring people together, and the vast majority of our faith leaders understand and support that. It’s disappointing that this happened, and I hope people understand that we’re not doing this because we want to, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep people safe.
Nova Scotia has a population of a million people and has had 71 deaths, the average age which is 80 years old.
[Editor’s note: Speaking as a Canadian, I have to wonder where all the brown shirts are. When did we wake up in Nazi Germany?]
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