Editor of the Pipestone Flyer Shaela Dansereau

Editor of the Pipestone Flyer Shaela Dansereau

OPINION: GraceLife Church needs to be shut down

I have been very patient with following provincial guidelines and the phases set out for re-opening by the provincial government during this part of Alberta’s COVID journey.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been frustrated, but I’ve been patient.

What baffles me is the sheer audacity of some people in this province and the willingness of the government to look the other way when it comes to mass groups breaking COVID regulations specifically religious institutions. Mainly GraceLife Church just outside of Edmonton.

I am furious that their narcissistic, self-idolizing Pastor, James Coates, was released from the Edmonton Remand Centre, especially when everyone knew he would go right back to breaking COVID protocols. He was arrested in the first place for breaking these protocols, and then put in the Remand Centre for failing to comply with his bail conditions.

I have been furious for weeks that this church, which by no means represents all other churches in Alberta because I know plenty that disagree with their actions, has been allowed to continue with their massive Sunday services without so much as a slap on the wrist.

And I’m sure you guessed it, Coates showed up this past Sunday for the first time since being released from the Remand Centre.

In all the reports about the church that I have seen, RCMP have been present to dissuade the gatherings, however, every week they state that they do not have the authority to close the establishment. Well then lets get somebody who can!

This church has been a thorn in Albertan’s sides for months as we fight COVID-19. You can’t tell me that if the provincial government wanted action taken that it wouldn’t have happened already. I think what Jason Kenney needs to remember is as a responsible Premier all institutions need to be governed equally, and that includes religious institutions.

The fact that Coates went running back to his COVID denying flock the second he was released, proves what we all knew, that he hadn’t learned his lesson in the least. But why would he when the government keeps giving him chance after chance with no real reprecussions?

How does Jason Kenney expect Albertans to continue to follow COVID restrictions when they are shown every week that they won’t actually face consequences if they do whatever they want? Allowing Coates to walk and continue to lead services every Sunday is a bold statement on Alberta’s restriction priorities.

There needs to be a health inspector or officer come through, close that church’s doors, bolt them closed, and tell the members that they can go back in when they learn to behave.

But I doubt that will happen. And unfortunately I can bet that next Sunday GraceLife will be back at it again this Sunday.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Image/ Metro Creative Connection
County of Wetaskiwin responds to Alberta Energy Regulator’s decision on Directive 067.

On April 7, 2021 the Alberta Energy Regular (AER) announced a new edition of Directive 067.

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It’s not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he’d been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

Police are still looking for suspects, and have called in their forensics experts to help

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP respond to break and enter and theft at a Wetaskiwin church

RCMP responded to a break and enter and theft at Jesus Cares Fellowship Church.

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

Most Read