Updated: Mar 5, 2021
1500hrs Ontario Time March 4, 2021
Ron Scott Journalist FreedomReport.CA
BC Bail Hearing for Pastor Coates
I was able to observe the bail hearing in a BC court today for Pastor James Coates, via WebEx at the following link: https://albertacourts.webex.com/webappng/sites/albertacourts/dashboard/pmr/virtual.courtroom09
Defence lawyer James Kitchen stated several times that the Crown's case at best is very weak and his reasons are as follows.
Bail conditions are a violation of religious rights and freedoms, as well as the freedom to assemble and would prevent Pastor Coates from doing his job as a Pastor in the community. The Crown's case is only a theory, with nothing shown to support the claims made to public risk. Due to the very nature of his Job, Pastor Coates is unable to disobey God and he is compelled to God not the Courts or Health Officials.
So with this in mind it's not that Pastor Coates is unwilling to abide by the bail order, but rather he is unable to follow those conditions based on his own faith.
The charges brought forward are rounded in a unprecedented Act under the Health Act, which violates Charter Rights & Freedoms.
The Public Health Prosecutor appealed to the Court to not have to identify herself by name, "due to security matters that have risen in this case" in regards to her safety. She however was on video the whole time she was speaking. So how hard would it be for anybody watching the proceedings to Google her position in the Prosecutor's Office and find a picture of her with a name attached it? However, because she expressed this concern to Court, The Justice ordered that there be no re-broadcasting of the proceedings today if somebody recorded it. Let's be realistic here, she's not in fear for her life, she's just trying to prevent the proceedings getting out to the public. The prosecutor submitted no new information, she confirmed that there was no error in the bail conditions that she set forward and confirm the charges laid. The prosecutor stated, that just because the undertaking was refused to be signed doesn't mean the undertaking wasn't in effect, because the law doesn't recognize somebody's refusal to sign an undertaking.
Defence lawyer James kitchen retorted back, saying that Pastor Coates knew that he did not agree to the undertaking and it was never explained to him that regardless of his agreement or not, that he had indeed agreed to an undertaking. So therefore he did not violate the undertaking to begin with. Mr. Kitchen then again reiterated to The Justice, just how weak the Crown's case is in this matter.
To which the Justice replied, "I hear you on that" and The Justice adjourn the matter until tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. for a decision to be made. Which I believe people can watch by following the link above and The Justice requested people to log around for 830am.
I took a lot of notes though, because The Justice made clear that the Defense nor the Prosecution has requested a publication ban on these proceedings, so therefore Journalists are free to report on it, they are just not allowed to re-broadcast the court proceedings. I personally can't see how The Justice after tomorrow morning can justify keeping Pastor Coates in jail any longer. Especially when like his lawyer James kitchen pointed out, if Pastor Coates were to be found guilty in the long run, then the offense itself carries no jail time .
Pastor Coates would just be subjected to fines and community service. Which Pastor Coates is a pastor who serves the community and that's the very reason why he's in jail to begin with.