Organizers of Calgary church service arrested for violation of COVID-19 public health orders

CALGARY — Calgary police have arrested two men, identified as organizers of a gathering that was in violation of Alberta’s public health orders.

Officials say Artur Pawlowski and Dawid Pawlowski were arrested and charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, including requesting, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal public gathering, promoting and attending an illegal public gathering.

Police say the pair acknowledged an injunction, obtained by Alberta Health Services from the Court of Queen’s Bench on May 6, but chose to ignore the health guidelines just the same.

The court order installed new restrictions on organizers of protests and demonstrations requiring compliance with public health orders including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits.

It also provides police with enforcement powers, including the power to arrest organizers of these illegal gatherings.

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Despite the situation, police want to remind the public that they do have a right to attend a religious gathering and engage in peaceful protest, but the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and rules must be acknowledged.

“We continue to ask those who may be considering organizing or participating in any outdoor events to ensure they are familiar with public health order requirements and to do their part to prevent further spread of the virus,” police wrote in a statement.

Calgary police add the order was served prior to the church service and at no time did any officers enter the building.

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