Alberta gov't stonewalling our investigation into its treatment of Pastor James Coates

Sheila Gunn Reid explains how bureaucrats in the Alberta government are trying to stall a Rebel News investigation into its treatment of Pastor James Coates and GraceLife Church.

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The Alberta government is still stonewalling a Rebel News investigation into the treatment of Pastor James Coates and GraceLife Church.

GraceLife Church gained international attention when the congregation and its pastor, James Coates, resisted the lockdown restrictions on places of worship, never requiring the congregation to mask, social distance or meet attendance limits. Police and local health authorities visited the church repeatedly, arrested Coates, held him in custody for 35 days and seized the entire church property for three months. The church continued to meet in secret until their building was returned on July 1.

In May 2021, Rebel News filed an access to information request with the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General office for records pertaining to the treatment of Coates and GraceLife. The ministry initially took a 30-day extension and sent Rebel News a bill for $1,947 for 1,500 pages of records.

But instead of the documents we were promised and that we've already paid for, Rebel News has received another roadblock: a delay of 200 more days. The letter from the Justice Ministry states:

“We will make every reasonable effort to respond to your request by March 31, 2022” — about 10 months from the initial request.

What are they trying to hide? Their paywalls and foot-dragging won't stop us. But we need your help to keep looking.

Rebel News does not take any money from the government. We rely on the generosity of viewers to ask the questions to which Canadians want answers. Access to information investigations are expensive and time-consuming; this one alone will take nearly a year to complete, once we've sifted through 1,500 documents. To support our independent investigations into government agencies, please donate at

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  • By Rebel News

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