CALGARY – Alberta Health Services is asking for jail time for an Alberta pastor and his brother found guilty of contempt after deliberately violating COVID-19 health orders.
Artur Pawlowski and his brother, David Pawlowski, of Calgary were arrested in May and accused of organizing an illegal gathering as well as of promoting and attending an illegal gathering.
The arrests came after court orders were granted allowing Alberta Health Services and police to charge those who advertised gatherings that would breach health restrictions.
They were found guilty of flouting COVID-19 rules in June.
Justice Adam Germain said at the time the verdict was given Alberta Health Services filed extensive affidavits, which included videos and still shots of web pages and social media, that illustrated the three men were “vocal objectors” to health orders and were “openly encouraging gatherings contrary to the rules.”
“I concluded in all cases that Alberta Health Services had proven, nearly to absolute certainty, that all three of the respondents … are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of contempt.”
The judge said the three had more than ample knowledge of the existence of the court orders.
“The orders were clear and unambiguous and the breach of them was deliberate and willful, nor were there any legally recognized excuses. There is no turning back from this.”
At a sentencing hearing Monday, the health provider asked that the pastor be jailed for 21 days and that his brother be sentenced to 10 days.
The court is also being asked to fine Artur Pawlowski $2,000 and impose $15,000 in costs.
The lawyer for the Pawlowskis is to finish her case Tuesday, but says her clients should not face incarceration.