June 21st, 2024

Pastor charged in Coutts blockade seeking bail

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on March 22, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski, who has been held in custody at the Calgary Remand Centre since he was denied bail last month, is expected to make another bid for his freedom today.
Pawlowski failed to make bail Feb.16 following a hearing in Lethbridge provincial court, but he is scheduled to have a bail review today in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench.
Pawlowski, 48, faces criminal charges of breaching a release order to keep the peace, and committing mischief by inciting others to block the lawful use of public property. He also faces a charge under the provincial Critical Infrastructure Defence Act. He was arrested Feb. 8 at his home in Calgary, and had a bail hearing Feb. 9, after which the judge reserved her decision for a week, then detained the accused.
The charges stem from alleged incidents at the freedom blockade at Coutts in January and February. His arrest in February came only days after he attended the protest in the border town, during which he gave a speech at Smugglers Saloon and is heard in a video telling protestors to not give up the fight against government mandates.
“You have power now, don’t give it away,” Pawlowski said. “The eyes of the world, again, are on this little border, and the world is watching you. Will you give in? Will you stop fighting for the rights of the free Canadians?”
During his bail hearing Feb. 9, which was not subject to a typical publication ban, Crown prosecutor Steven Johnston said Pawlowski’s speech does not promote a peaceful protest but is laced with threats of violence, and he referred to the accused’s comments that there aren’t enough police or a big enough army to deal with the protestors.
“He’s not talking about in any manner a peaceful protest at that point in time,” Johnston said. “He’s clearly in the context of his speech referencing to the notion that there would be some sort of violence.”
Pawlowski is also prepared to be arrested for the cause and encourages people to rise up against the rules, Johnston added. Pawlowski also said “if this is our Alamo, then so be it.”
That comment, Johnston suggested, is a dimly veiled reference to the soldiers who died to “the very last man” while defending the Alamo Mission.
“The Crown says that is not a veiled threat to violence, it’s an overt threat to violence.”
When Pawlowski’s speech concluded, he got back in a BMW and returned home, leaving the protestors behind, Johnston added.
Calgary lawyer Chad Haggerty said his client was not actually participating in the border blockade, and should be released from custody because he was doing nothing more than exercising his Charter rights to free expression. He argued Pawlowski’s statements don’t have undertones of violence, and his actions do not constitute mischief under the Criminal Code.
Haggerty suggested Pawlowski could be released on bail with restrictive conditions and a $5,000 promise to pay if he breaches.
Reading from her decision on Feb. 16, Judge Erin Olsen denied Pawlowski bail and agreed with the Crown’s concerns that the accused will re-offend and undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice, if he is released.
“There is a substantial likelihood that the accused will, if released from custody, commit a criminal offence or interfere with the administration of justice,” Olsen said. “The accused’s pattern of behaviour speaks volumes about his willful commission of offences and/or violations of court and public health orders.”
Olsen referred to several previous incidents in past months in which Pawlowski allegedly showed civil disobedience and willfully breached health orders and court orders.
“I conclude that the accused has demonstrated that he will not follow court orders. He will not respect public health orders, he will flout orders that he personally disagrees with, and he will not be deterred in his approach to court and public health orders by having to pay, or using other’s money to pay, large fines and costs awards.”

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old school

Civil disobedience?? This is how people are treated who don’t wear a mask?? He has an exemption. Kenney and his ilk don’t like to be challenged on their “science”.