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Judge rules Alberta pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

Last Updated Mar 5, 2021 at 6:51 pm MDT

 EDMONTON – A judge has ruled that an Alberta pastor will remain in jail until his trial because he refuses to follow a bail condition that requires he comply with public health orders.

WATCH: CityNews’ Rachelle Elsuifi reports on the Alberta pastor that will spend at least another night in jail 


James Coates with GraceLife Church, west of Edmonton, has been in jail for more than two weeks and was appealing his bail conditions.

Coates is charged with violating Alberta’s Public Health Act and with breaking a promise to abide by conditions of his bail release, which is a Criminal Code offence.

The judge says the public health law remains valid and enforceable against the pastor.

The trial is set for May.

Coates’s lawyer James Kitchen argued that Coates can’t follow a bail condition that forbids him from holding services, because it would violate the pastor’s conscience by disobeying God.