Details of investigation into GraceLife Church expected mid-week as church continues to operate
EDMONTON -- GraceLife Church west of Edmonton opened for Sunday service on Feb. 14 for the third week in a row since receiving an order from Alberta Health Services to close.
According to Parkland RCMP, who sent members to the service, the church was over 15 per cent capacity and congregants failed to observe physical distancing rules.
Similar violations that led to the closure order being issued in January.
Despite that, no action was taken by police on Sunday.
“To be very clear, the RCMP’s objective is not to interrupt church services, prohibit services, nor deny peoples’ right to practice their religion - merely to ensure that public health restrictions are adhered to while doing so” said Inspector Mike Lokken, Detachment Commander of Parkland RCMP in a written release.
Police said they are furthering their investigation into the actions of the church and into its pastor, James Coates. More information about the investigation is expected mid-week.
AHS also issued a statement on the church on Sunday.
"Grace Life Church continues to create unacceptable public health risks by violating the Public Health Act, Chief Medical Officer of Health Order, Public Health Inspector Order, and a Court of Queen’s Bench Order. AHS continues to work within the legislation and cooperatively with the RCMP."
Earlier this week police also announced that Coates had been charged in connection with the violations.