Pastor Artur Pawlowski wins appeal against Alberta Health Services

In May 2021, Pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother Dawid were arrested and charged for violating Alberta’s public health orders after they held an “illegal” service at their church. Authorities went after the Pawlowskis at the behest of Alberta Health Services, who handed out an ex parte injunction.

On Friday, Alberta’s Court of Appeals ruled that the injunction was “not sufficiently clear and unambiguous,” meaning the Pawlowski’s contempt of it must be “set aside.”

“As all elements of contempt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt,” the court wrote in its ruling, “we conclude that the injunction here was not sufficiently clear and unambiguous, when it referred to other parties ‘acting independently to like effect’, so as to apply to the Pawlowskis. The contempt findings against the Pawlowskis must therefore be set aside.”

They added that because the contempt findings were dismissed, “the sanction order must also fall,” referring to the punishments the Pawlowskis faced as a result of their alleged contempt.

The court ordered that the brothers be reimbursed the $15,733.50 they had since paid to the AHS.

Both Pawlowskis were vocal critics of the province’s Covid policies. Artur went viral after a video of him screaming at police to get out of his church made the rounds on social media.

After being charged for refusing to abide by the injunction, the pair were ordered by a judge to “echo medical experts on COVID-19” prior to giving any public addresses. They did not submit to the request, and continued to voice their opposition to the mandates and restrictions.

Restaurant owner Christopher Scott fought alongside the Pawlowskis, refusing to close his business despite numerous warnings from authorities.

He only challenged the sanctions against him, not the injunction itself. The court ruled that the sanctions would be reduced to three days in jail and eight months probation, both of which had already been served, as well as a $10,000 fine.

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