32.7 C
Ontario
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Alberta Health Services physically closes Calgary church after repeated COVID-19 violations – Calgary


Alberta Health Services has physically closed Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary and has prevented access to the building, citing repeated violations of COVID-19 public health measures.

According to a news release on Saturday morning, the action was taken against the southeast Calgary church after its lead pastor Tim Stephens “continued to disregard public health measures required by law under order of the chief medical officer of health.”

AHS said the closure order will remain in place until the church’s pastor complies with public health restrictions.

Under the Stage 1 reopening plan, the province has limited faith service attendance to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy with mandatory physical distancing and mask use.

Read more:
COVID-19: AHS orders Calgary’s Fairview Baptist Church to close after rules defied, pastor arrested

Story continues below advertisement

Officials with AHS said they’ve attempted to work with Stephens since December 2020 to address public health concerns with worship services during the pandemic.

According to AHS, their environmental public health department has received 57 complaints regarding Fairview Baptist Church for services that exceeded capacity limits with minimal to no masking or physical distancing.

Stephens was arrested May 9 for allegedly organizing a church service which police said did not comply with public health orders.

He was released two days later, but AHS withdrew its application against Stephens due to an issue of mistaken identity when the injunction was served.

“There are tears, there is frustration, there’s an upset,” Alex Russell with Fairview Baptist Church told Global News following Stephens’ arrest in May. “Ultimately what has motivated that cause is an obedience to Christ, and so we obey him first before others that we respect.”

Read more:
COVID-19: Alberta Health Services drops contempt of court application against Calgary pastor

An injunction obtained by AHS on May 6 mandated that event organizers comply with public health restrictions, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits.

AHS ordered the church to close on May 17, but added that “none of the enforcement actions taken by either AHS or (Calgary Police Service) to date have succeeded in gaining compliance.”

Story continues below advertisement

AHS said it is working closely with CPS, but cannot issue tickets or fines for public health violations, which are under the jurisdiction or local law enforcement.

“AHS recognizes that the vast majority of places of worship are compliant with required public health measures for the protection of not only those who attend services, but for the protection of their families, friends and communities,” the news release said.

–With files from the Canadian Press

View link »





© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





Source link

Latest news

United Colors of Benetton Men’s EVA Flip-Flops and House Slippers

Price: (as of - Details) Add a touch of character to your look with this pair of flip-flops by United Colors of Benetton....

Three dead, one hurt in U.S. shooting in rural South Carolina

Three people were killed and one other person was hurt in a shooting in rural South Carolina, and deputies released the name...

Alberta MMA champion chasing fighting dream while serving community

A Strathcona County mixed martial artist is not afraid of a fight. Graham Park is preparing to defend his Unified MMA light heavyweight championship...

B.C. Day a welcome boon to Victoria businesses

Long lines and busy streets were the order of the day this August long weekend in Victoria. The capital’s hotel rooms were sold...
Related news

United Colors of Benetton Men’s EVA Flip-Flops and House Slippers

Price: (as of - Details) Add a touch of character to your look with this pair of flip-flops by United Colors of Benetton....

Three dead, one hurt in U.S. shooting in rural South Carolina

Three people were killed and one other person was hurt in a shooting in rural South Carolina, and deputies released the name...

Alberta MMA champion chasing fighting dream while serving community

A Strathcona County mixed martial artist is not afraid of a fight. Graham Park is preparing to defend his Unified MMA light heavyweight championship...

B.C. Day a welcome boon to Victoria businesses

Long lines and busy streets were the order of the day this August long weekend in Victoria. The capital’s hotel rooms were sold...