Arrest made in relation to AHS injunction - Correction
The original release implied that Pastor STEPHENS was arrested for holidng an illegal indoor gathering at Fairview Baptist Church, which remains closed. He was arrested for holding an illegal outdoor gathering that was not in compliance with current COVID-19 restrictions. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
Revised release below
The following release is issued on behalf of the Calgary Police Service and Alberta Health Services
Yesterday, Monday, June 14, 2021, Pastor Tim STEPHENS was arrested for allegedly violating a Court of Queen’s Bench Order.
STEPHENS was arrested yesterday afternoon for violating Section 127 of the Criminal Code for failure to comply with a court order.
CPS has received repeated calls from concerned citizens regarding church services held at Fairview Baptist Church over the past several weeks. Last weekend, Pastor STEPHENS was proactively served a copy of the Court of Queen's Bench Order obtained by AHS.
STEPHENS acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with an illegal outdoor service, ignoring requirements for social distancing and reduced capacity limits for attendees.
STEPHENS currently remains in custody and will next appear in court on Monday, June 28, 2021.
For several weeks, AHS has attempted to work collaboratively with leadership at Fairview Baptist Church to address the ongoing public health concerns at the site. It is only when significant risk is identified or continued non-compliance is noted that AHS resorts to enforcement action.
AHS strongly encourages all Albertans to follow public health orders to help minimize spread and protect others.
It is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people's desire to participate in faith-based gatherings. However, as we are still in a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone's safety and wellbeing.
We continue to ask those who may be considering organizing or participating in any outdoor events to ensure they are familiar with public health order requirements and to do their part to prevent further spread of the virus.