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Edmonton pastor found guilty of obstructing public health inspector

The penalty for violating the PHA or an order of a medical officer of health is subject to a fine of not more than $100,000 for a first offence and $500,000 for a subsequent offence.

Edmonton pastor found guilty of obstructing public health inspector
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Pastor Tracy Fortin and Church in the Vine were convicted Wednesday of three counts each of breaching Section 71 of the Alberta Public Health Act by obstructing an inspector.

Tracy admitted during trial that she prevented a health inspector from disrupting Sunday worship services to inspect for compliance with Alberta government COVID-19 restrictions on places of worship.

The penalty for violating the PHA or an order of a medical officer of health is subject to a fine of not more than $100,000 for a first offence and $500,000 for a subsequent offence.

According to Alberta Justice data, between March 1, 2020 and April 10, 2022:

759 tickets were issued

  • 414 Withdrawn (54.5 per cent)
  • 82 Unpaid (10.8 per cent)
  • 79 Quashed (10.4 per cent)
  • 77 Active and unpaid (10.1 per cent)
  • 58 Paid after FA or before trial (7.6 per cent)
  • 46 Paid after convicted in absence/post-trial (6.1 per cent)
  • 3 Dismissed (0.4 per cent)

Recently, Calgary Pastor Tim Stephen's trial for violating the PHA has been delayed until the fall and his one criminal charge for disobeying a judge's order was thrown out. He was arrested twice in front of his children, once at his home and another time after church.

Tracy and Church in the Vine are being represented by lawyer, James Kitchen, and their legal costs are being supported by The Democracy Fund, a registered Canadian charity with a focus on civil liberties advocacy and education. All donations to The Democracy Fund qualify for a charitable tax credit.

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