The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan church received the fine after a 100 day revival where they drew the ire of the mayor and a local First Nations Chief.
The church was blamed for a COVID-19 outbreak and called a superspreader event responsible for cases across several jurisdictions.
But, the outbreak may have actually spread to the church from the local casino. The church was fined and ordered closed for 30 days; however, the casino was not.
Closing the church cut the marginalized people Pastor Vern Temple works with everyday off from their only lifeline.
Temple feeds, houses, clothes and helps the homeless in PA get clean. He cares for them, and the church puts most of their resources to that ministry. He’s saving lives and reminding the forgotten people of PA that God loves them.
That fine, the largest COVID fine in the country at the time it was issued in October, would put an end to much of the work Temple does. Rebel News went to Prince Albert to visit the church in the impoverished skid row of the city, where crime and drug addiction are rampant, to offer the church some help.
There's been some friction between the mayor, Greg Dionne, and this church in the past with Temple telling me that the city wants to take his building and demolish it to use the lot for something else.
We had to help. Temple and the church became part of FightTheFines.com, Rebel News’ civil liberties project connecting Canadians hammered with lockdown tickets with lawyers who will fight their lockdown tickets in court at no cost to them.
Sarah Miller from JSS Barristers in Calgary got to work. She was willing to take the fines all the way to trial.
But the prosecutor was not! Miller tells me the crown is declining to take the ticket to trial and have thrown out the fines.
It’s a moral victory.
The mayor may have been able to push authorities into fining the church but a wise prosecutor was not willing to make the case that confiscating five figures in cash from a poverty church, helping the vulnerable in a derelict area of town would be in the public interest.
Thank you to everyone who made this possible through donations to FightTheFines.com. You’re making a real difference in the lives of Canadians you may never meet. None of this would have been possible without you but there is so much more work left to do to help the nearly 1,200 people, churches and small businesses that are part of the Fight The Fines project.
Donations to Fight The Fines now qualify for a charitable tax receipt through The Democracy Fund, a registered Canadian charity that works to support and advance civil liberties.