Central Alberta cafe owner, Calgary pastor found guilty of contempt for COVID-19 breaches

CALGARY — Two Calgary brothers and the owner of a central Alberta café who defied COVID-19 health orders have been found guilty of contempt of court.

Pastor Artur Pawlowski and his brother Dawid Pawlowski — who run the Fortress (Cave) of Adullam Street Church— and Christopher Scott, owner of the Whistlestop Café in Mirror, Alta., were each found guilty on Monday.

Sentencing will be scheduled in July.

In May, Alberta Health Services was granted a court order allowing police to arrest and charge those who advertise illegal gatherings that breach COVID-19 health restrictions.

The church run by Artur and his brother has been hosting weekly gatherings at a daycare and preschool building located on 26th Avenue S.E., to practice their faith.

He had earlier said he and his brother were “political prisoners” while in custody.

Police say the pair acknowledged the AHS injunction, obtained from the Court of Queen’s Bench on May 6, but chose to ignore the health guidelines.

Scott was arrested in early May during a rally near his cafe in Mirror, Alta., about 210 kilometres north of Calgary, which was deemed illegal.

The health agency said there was an urgent need to minimize spread to protect all Albertans as COVID-19 cases surged in the province.

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