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Fence surrounding GraceLife church can come down July 1: AHS

GraceLife church and fencing seen on Apr. 7, 2021. (PHOTO: Rachelle Elsiufi, CityNews)

SPRUCE GROVE, Alta (CityNews) — The fences surrounding GraceLife — the Alberta church charged with violating COVID-19 regulations — will come down next week, Alberta Health Services confirmed to CityNews.

As of July 1, the church will also get possession of the propert, which has been fenced off since Apr. 7.

AHS says closures and work orders based on Chief Medical Officer of Health orders, which are set to be rescinded, will be revoked as a result.

“As of July 1, all AHS Executive Orders issued in connection with CMOH restrictions will be rescinded, as they are based on CMOH Orders which will themselves be rescinded,” AHS told CityNews in a statement.

“In terms of GraceLife Church, possession of the premises will be returned to the Church and the fence will be removed.”

Back in April, the health agency said it would only remove the fences once the church showed it could comply with public health measures meant to contain the spread of the virus.

The church’s pastor, James Coate, spent a month in the Edmonton Remand Centre after he violated a bail condition not to hold church services that officials said were ignoring measures on capacity limits, physical distancing and masking.

He was released March 22 after pleading guilty and was fined $1,500.