Controversial preacher arrested on Calgary tarmac for warrants after U.S. anti-vaxx speaking tour

Controversial preacher Artur Pawlowski was arrested on outstanding warrants as he arrived back in Calgary on a private charter flight following a month-long anti-vaccine speaking tour in the U.S. where he met with extreme right wing online social media activists and Donald Trump’s son.

On Monday afternoon, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers made the arrest. 

He is now charged with disobeying a court order and failing to wear a mask, which is a $50 bylaw ticket. The offences date back to March and June of this year, according to Calgary police.

Pawlowski’s lawyer, Sarah Miller, called the timing “illogical” given the dates of the alleged breach and bylaw ticket were before her client left for the U.S.

Video circulating on Twitter shows Pawlowski being arrested on the tarmac of the Calgary airport Monday afternoon.

About seven hours later, lawyer Miller secured her client’s release on the condition that he keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

Pawlowski and his brother, Dawid Pawlowski — who is running for a city council seat in Ward 11, are already facing potential jail sentences after being convicted of contempt for repeatedly flouting COVID-19 public health measures and encouraging others to do the same.

They will be sentenced on Oct. 13, which is the same date the new charges are before the courts.

AHS seeks jail time

Lawyers for Alberta Health Services (AHS) have asked Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Adam Germain to sentence Artur Pawlowski to three weeks in jail and that he be fined $2,000 plus pay $15,000 in legal costs. They also want to see 10 days for Dawid Pawlowski.

Miller, who represents both brothers, asked that her clients spend no time in jail. 

Throughout the pandemic, the Pawlowskis repeatedly hosted and promoted large maskless gatherings for church services in Calgary and also denied health officials entry to the church, located in the southeast neighbourhood of Dover.

AHS inspectors who attempted to enter the church were met with abusive language.

The arrests took place in May after court orders were granted allowing AHS and police to charge anyone who advertised gatherings that would breach health restrictions.

In 2020, Artur Pawlowski was also fined for failing to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions.

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